I admit it. I was completely clueless when I started going to networking events. To say that I bombed at it is an understatement. But that’s not too far from most people’s experience.
The reality is that business networking is one of the most powerful things you will ever learn, but unfortunately most people will never do it in a way that yields any significant results.
But it’s really not rocket science so let me get you started with three business networking tips that can give you a big advantage and makes you stand out like a pro.
Now before we go into the 3 tips please understand that there are 3 distinct stages of networking. Most people only focus on one so if you do all 3 it will give you a major advantage.
Business Networking Tip #1
Stage 1: BEFORE the networking event.
By starting networking with people BEFORE the event (what I call Pre-networking) it will give you a major head-start.
So how do you network with people before an event? Well lots of events these days list who is coming to the event. Then you simple try to find them on social media and send a message saying something like: “Hey I saw you are coming to … ( insert event) I thought I would say hi and that I’m looking forward to seeing you.”
You might want to follow up with a bit more small talk back and forth … the more you can engage them before the event the bigger your head-start. But don’t try to “force” the connection and go too quickly at this point. (watch the video above to understand why this is SO powerful)
If the attendees are not listed, at the very least you can find out who the organizers are and connect with them the same way. And you also might want to ask if there is anything you can do to help them out at the event.
Pre-networking alone is such a major advantage and especially because almost nobody is doing it.
Business Networking Tip #2
Stage 2: At the networking event.
There are MANY MANY ways you can influence people at an event to get them to like and trust you quickly. But one of the most powerful things you can do is to ask what I call transformational questions.
Asking the right questions truly is one of the biggest secrets to success with people… which is the foundation for success in any field. Most people ask very shallow and common questions that will not stand out and build trust. Remember, you have to be different to stand out and be noticed and you can even accomplish that by the questions you ask.
If you ask the same questions everyone else is, why would people find you interesting or even remember you?
People typically ask questions like: How is it going? How has your week been? How was your week-end. How is business?
I call these transactional questions. These are questions you don’t have to think much about to answer.
For example, If you ask: How has your week been? People would typically answer “Great thanks”
So where do you go from there? The answer doesn’t give you a talking point or any really valuable information about the person. But what if you instead asked: “What was the best part of your week?”
They would have to think deeper about that… AND the answer would reveal something about them and what’s important to them. This will give you crucial information about them, but it’s also a great potential for a talking point.
For example suppose they said: “I went fishing the other night and caught a monster salmon.”
If you love fishing too then you would be right into sharing fishing stories. If you don’t like fishing you could say ”Oh I’ve never fished… what is that is so appealing about it? And they would be right into talking about one of their passions. The more they talk about themselves and what’s important to them the more they will like and trust you.
So ask transformational questions, which are questions they cannot answer on autopilot.
Business Networking Tip #3
Stage 3: After the networking event.
If you don’t follow up with people you have met at an event you will simply be forgotten. It’s shocking how few people will even attempt to do this and IF they do they almost always do it very badly. Honestly… if you don’t follow up with people after an event it’s almost a waste of time going to the event.
Following up is not just “hey we have an offer this week” .. or “I’m just checking in to see if anything changed and you are now in the market for x”…. In my opinion that’s pestering and it’s not going to work. I mean, who wants a sales pitch on social media or their email inbox? NOBODY.
So you need to follow up in a way that provides value and deepen the trust. Because we only buy from and do business with people we trust. Focus on building a PERSONAL trust FIRST and then the business will follow.
Ok that’s it for now but if you want more business networking tips get my book 50 fast and furious networking tips here… if you are quick its still free.
Until I see you next have an amazing time and may the high conversion be with you.
Rooting for you – Patrick M. Powers
PS: To get My book 50 fast and furious networking tips while it’s FREE Click here now