A Few More Networking Tips for Success…

Face to face networking is still one of the best forms of engagement to generate, nurture and retain relationships.

networkingIn my earlier posts Networking Tips for Success and More Networking Tips for Success I shared the benefits of networking and some general tips for success. Here are a few more tips to get the most from your networking.

To ensure that you maximise your opportunities at each event, some advance preparation is key. These few simple tips should prepare you for attending your next networking event:

  1. Phone up the organisers and ask for more information about the event, its format and how many people usually attend.
  2. Find out what the dress code is. Is it a relaxed event or is business dress required?
  3. Be certain of what you want to achieve and set yourself some goals.  For example; “I will connect with three new people“.
  4. Prepare your pitch, if appropriate. Some networking events allow you to make a pitch or presentation of 40-60 seconds. Be prepared!
  5. Ensure that you have plenty of business cards or marketing materials with you. There is nothing worse than being asked for your card and not having one to hand.
  6. Look in the mirror before you leave! You would be surprised how many people have a wardrobe malfunction or something stuck in their teeth. You don’t want your new contact to be distracted. You want them to listen to what you are saying.
  7. Check the address of the venue, look up the location, directions and parking arrangements. You would be surprised how many people get this wrong and arrive late and flustered because they were convinced it was somewhere else or couldn’t park easily.

These and many other tips are an extract from 101 Networking Tips by Sandra Garlick, due for publication shortly.

Sandra Garlick, a former Solicitor, is a Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Trainer and Public Speaker. Sandra frequently speaks on various business growth topics including “Networking for Success“. Sandra will be speaking at the FSB’s B2B Expo about “How to raise your profile by networkingon Tuesday 10th January 2016 at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. You can book your free place here.

Follow Sandra on Twitter @SandraGarlick @SGBusConsulting


More Networking Tips for Success

I recently published a post about Networking Tips for Success where I shared my key 3 benefits of networking.

AAW Coventry Open DaySelecting the right networking events and ensuring that your networking is effective is key to the growth of your business.  You need to attend events where you are going to meet, or be referred to, potential customers.

It’s nice to go out everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner but as well as affecting your cash flow…and your waistline, it will also affect your availability to carry out your work or simply be a waste of your time out of the office.

Sometimes it difficult to attend a networking event once, or even choose the right one to go to, and be able to make an informed decision whether it is right for you and your business.

The following 7 tips may help you:

  1. Ask someone to recommend an event or networking group to you.  Ideally, one that they have found effective.  Ask if you can go along with them;
  2. If you are attending an event for the first time, speak to the host in advance and ask them more details about the event, the type of people who attend, the format and if they can introduce you to people;
  3. Ensure that you speak to as many people as possible while you are there and find out how they have benefited from attending;
  4. Do some preparation in advance and think about your particular goals for attending the event and what you want to achieve as an outcome.  Be specific…”I would like to meet 3 new business contacts“;
  5. Make some notes as soon as you get back to the office… when it is fresh in your mind.  Ask yourself some questions such as “Did I meet any good contacts?”, “Did I enjoy the event“, “Would I recommend it to someone else?”;
  6. Keep an ongoing record of events you attend and more importantly the cost of attending.  Ensure that you monitor the cost versus benefit.
  7. Have fun and enjoy your networking.

Sandra Garlick, Business Consultant, Adviser & Mentor 

Copyright © Sandra Garlick 2016

Networking Tips for Success

When I first started my business I embarked upon a networking campaign by attending as many events as I could!  It was pretty much a scatter-gun approach with no strategic plan in place, a small budget and not really knowing what to expect.

I joined the local Chamber of Commerce, a couple of breakfast networking clubs and searched out anything that had a “networking” theme. I became the “Queen of Networking”!

It was only when I had been trading for a year, and the membership renewal invoices started to arrive, that I realised that I had no idea if any of these events had resulted in any new contacts or customers. I decided at that point to put systems in place to monitor how effective my networking was.  I then had a great way of knowing which networking events were most effective for my business.

I strongly believe that networking has three main benefits:

  1. Growing your contact database – contacts are essential for IMG_2513expanding your business network of potential customers and referrers
  2. Building relationships – trusted relationships take time to build and are essential to business growth
  3. Being remembered for the right reasons – being helpful and a sharer of information will reap rewards in the future

For me, networking isn’t just about “getting the sale”.   So often, I am asked “How many leads did you get?”.  In fact, I positively avoid the sales type approach and hard follow up.  I simply link up via Linkedin and only email if I’ve promised to do so.

I spend the majority of my networking time building trusted relationships, listening to others, getting to know people and offering help, entirely without agenda.  If one of these relationships recommends me in the future or becomes a customer, that is fantastic.

I do recall on one occasion receiving a phone call from a lady that had kept my details for four years.  All she said was, “When I first met you, you were so helpful and I always remembered that…now I need your services.”

I now ensure that I only attend networking events or renew networking memberships where I know that I will build those relationships.

Follow @SandraGarlick on Twitter and #Periscope

[Picture courtesy of Ladies First Professional Development. From left:  Julie Richardson, Sandra Garlick and Lisa Kennedy]

Sandra Garlick frequently speaks about “Networking for Success” and will be speaking at the FSB B2B Expo on this topic on Tuesday 10th January 2016 at The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.  You can book your free place here.