Today’s Tip – Networking is imperative; A functions function –
Making contacts in any type of environment is easy. Networking Functions and gatherings set up expressly for that purpose can be an extraordinary thing. You have the opportunity to expand your contacts. It isn’t enough to simply show up though as we said yesterday. You have to do more.
Research and choose the right event for you. You can still make contacts at any event but attending one that ties into what you do is more beneficial. There are trade shows, conferences and groups dedicated to what you do. For the entertainers thinking there isn’t, ask yourself this. Does your community do carnivals or street fairs? Be involved in your local community if nothing else. Networking is about contacts, you never know who someone knows. Some of those people could need a band, comic, or musician and who would they go to? You, the person they know and is interested in their community, or the random guy they found on a website.
We talked about being engaged with the people you are speaking to yesterday, remember this. Focus on quality of contacts not quantity. You will be attending many functions, meeting new people each time. No one takes the guy seriously who looks bored or distracted. If all you did was hit everyone in the room and hand out cards you would make zero impact. Instead set a goal to meet four or five new people each time. This is different than meeting fans after a show, that’s more of a meet and greet, networking functions are to make contacts for your business, and you are your business.
Keep in mind the impact you have, as we discussed yesterday, stand out. You have one chance to make a first impression. Making a bad one will make your life more difficult as you try to repair the problem. Keep in mind both your verbal and nonverbal communication. If you are a poor social animal try some of these ideas to help you. Make eye contact when shaking hands, notice what color their eyes are, that’s enough direct eye contact it shows that you are comfortable with people and avoids being rude. Again follow TAC, its more about them than you. Interact ask follow-up questions about what they say. Having trouble starting a conversation look here.
We talk about being able to articulate what we do during our seminars. This is very important when at a Networking Event. You should work on this. You need to have a short introduction for yourself and your business. This is where having a mission statement or a motto can definitely benefit you. Short and to the point. It should inform people who you are what you do and what you offer them. It should also leave an opening for people to ask questions if they want, chances are they will. Practice doing this so it is second nature. Using your research of what the event is that you are attending you can tailor it to what you are trying to achieve. Maintain the who, what and what’s in it for them criteria.
Last but most certainly not least. Follow up, this is where most people mess up. You should always contact them again right after the event, within three days is reasonable, add a business card and personalize it with something you spoke about with them, about them. Then mark your calendar for a few weeks later two to three weeks is good and follow up once more. You want to get together to discuss how you can help each other see here for more information on doing this.