In an effort to sell our “In-Person Networking is the ABSOLUTE best way to Network” we are sharing 8 key points:
• INVEST in yourself as you invest in others, oops, YOUR business. If you’re too cheap to join an organization that could best serve your brands awareness, maybe you’re not ready to reap the benefits of the price tag you want to promote. Sow into YOU!
• CLAIM 2! Find at least 2 to 3 networking communities to grow your brand and self in. These organizations could be professional, regional, charitable, fraternity/sororities, gender specific, or common-themed initiative groups. Whatever the community may be, make sure it’s an organization that resonates with your brand, product or service and demographic you wish to serve.
• Make a COMMITment to SHOW UP! Many of us seek out communities to grow our brands and special little interests in, yet do very little in nurturing and planting seeds. That old adage and motto used by American Express that says, “Membership has its rewards,” is true to the core. When you show up, folks know who you are, what you need, and your WHY. They also know how to help YOU.
• LISTEN… That’s it! Listen and shut up, well we don’t mean for it to be so abrasive. It’s a kill-joy to run to a networking event to sell your product or service that you’re passionate about, only to become the grim reaper to all who cross your path. Your conversational door opener should be, “Now, tell me what you do?” or “Tell me more about you.” Folks love to talk about themselves, so LISTEN and indirectly grow your fan club and tribe.
• Be CONSISTENT! Yes, please claim a few organizations to commit to and make it a point to listen but if you’re not showing up often, folks will forget you. I don’t know how many times we’ve lost a business card or contact info of someone that offered the latest and greatest product or service we just had to have at a “previous” event, with a goal of reconnecting at the next event, only to have that person not show up. Believe it or not, folks may be seeking you out, but if you’re not a regular attendee you may become obsolete and miss the new client boat.
• Create a FUN focus! Don’t just show up without an intention. Go into your networking community with a goal of meeting a certain # of the following: new potential clients and friends, introduce sales conversations, opportunities to share your latest initiatives and campaigns, and new contacts to add to your LIST.
• Be AUTHENTIC!!! The human connection is still one of the most desired and appreciated ways to network. Go out there and put forth your best YOU ever, which will be a great representative of your product or service. If you’re uncomfortable in your skin, jump on that “fake IT till you make IT” bandwagon and try-on a temporary persona of the confident advocate of your business, to get the networking event completed. Yeah, we encourage you to be authentic, yet we do give you a pass with your temporary persona as we recognize that it’s the YOU-you’d prefer to be.
• USE it or LOSE IT!!! One of the biggest pet peeves out there for leaders in in-person networking communities is to have members that lack the use of their membership benefits. While most networking groups love to take in annual, monthly, and even regular event dues and monies to offset admin costs and extend savings to their members, it’s disheartening to have members with grievances because of “what didn’t work for me,” in their in-person networking, when in actuality they didn’t work their networking magic and muscle in the community. If you join IT, then be about it. A structured plan for utilizing your membership benefits, in an in-person networking community, will be beneficial to your brand awareness and YOU!
In-person networking is the ABSOLUTE best way to network an engage with your potential customer. We hope you utilize the tools and steps shared to bring your marketing magic alive. Brand YOU!