Every salesperson knows that it is crucial to get out there and network.
Networking is essential to growing your client base and increasing your revenues.
If you’ve cringed at the thought of having to go to an event and mingle with a bunch of strangers, you’re not alone.
Let’s talk about a few things you can do beforehand to ensure you meet your goals for the event.
At networking events, people talk about a variety of topics, which are not always business related. So, to best prepare, brush up on current events.
If you are attending the event to meet specific people, compile a Target List and do a little homework on each person and prepare a couple of open-ended questions. Open-ended questions encourage the other person to engage in the conversation.
When you meet your Targets, you’ll be surprised at how a little preparation goes a long way in building rapport and leaving a great first impression.
Take the time to dress appropriately for the event.
Get your suit dry-cleaned. Make sure your shirt is ironed and crisp. And make sure your shoes are polished.
Don’t go too heavy on the cologne; you don’t want to leave a trail behind. 😉
Women should plan to bring a small handbag, nothing big and bulky, just enough to carry your essentials.
It’s important to have plenty of crisp business cards on hand. It’s best to have a special case to hold yours and the cards that you collect.
Don’t plan on handing your cards out to everyone, just those who ask.
Some people don’t like this term, so call it whatever you prefer, just don’t have a canned spiel.
People will be asking you what you do, so it’s important to be prepared to articulate your message in a succinct, conversational manner.
The way to accomplish this is to practice. Go as far as writing down what you’d like to say and verbalize it until you are comfortable with your message.
The three points to convey are what you do, who you help, how you help them.
Body language speaks volumes, so practice, practice, practice.
First stand in front of a mirror and check your posture, are you a little hunched over?
Here’s how to straighten out your posture, pretend you have a string pulling you up from the top of your head and pull your shoulders back and down. Now look in the mirror again and notice the difference?
Standing up straight conveys confidence; people are drawn toward confident individuals.
The next three non-verbals: a firm handshake, good eye contact, and a smile are equally important to conveying confidence.
If you’re not too sure about your handshake, practice with a friend to make sure your handshake is firm.
Leaving a great first impression has just as much to do with how you present yourself as the conversation you have.
Remember the purpose of networking is to make new connections, dare I say – make new friends. If you think of it in this manner, you won’t cringe at the mention of going to a networking event. You’ll have fun instead!
Following the steps above will properly prepare you to connect with your target list and be memorable to those you meet.