We all love networking events. Finger food, drinks, and lots of people to meet. But networking can either be productive or you can sit in the corner with your friends and enjoy the atmosphere which is your comfort zone but you accomplish nothing. Networking can be both fun and productive.
Here are some tips I found that may help you get the most out of your next networking event.
How do you spend your time?
Many people are working at jobs that didn’t exist five or ten years ago. For you this can be a eye opener or an embarrassment if you are not up to speed in the latest work force job opportunities. The question ‘what you do’ may not always work at networking events. Instead, asking someone how they spend their time gives them runway to explain in fact how they spend their time and what they’re excited about in that moment. It’s an easy question to answer and will give you a better picture of the person you’re talking to than ‘what you do?’
How can I be of service to you?
It’s easy to get caught up in what your business needs are. But what can you offer other people? How can you be a part of lifting up other small business owners or if your talking to the owner(s), How can your business help their business? There’s two main reasons you should feel comfortable saying this to other business owners. It’s a kind thing to do. Being kind and helpful is always the right thing to do, as well as make the world a better place. Secondly, in the small business world, we survive by the help that we get from others. You want to extend the help you have to others so that they’ll be willing to extend help to you. This can create not only good will but excellent word of mouth to other penitential customers about how you act and how well your business actually is.
What’s the biggest challenge in your line of work?
Asking this question opens up a lot of options for the conversation. People like to talk about their challenges, so it gives your conversation partner a chance to blow off some steam. It’s also a learning opportunity for you. Knowing what challenges other business owners face can mean many things to you: a new opportunity to collaborate or expand, or a chance to hear about how another person faces their tough work days. Either way, this question is likely to lead to a truly engaging conversation.
Networking What’can be hard but make it easier for yourself by asking these kinds of networking questions. Don’t get trapped in the same old, same old. Mix things up and you will leave the event with a better understanding of who you just met. Oh, one last thing. Don’t throw your business card at everyone you meet. If they ask for it, give it to them. If they don’t, they probably did not want it in the first place. Being too forward and hard sale in your approach can do more harm than good.
Tags: #networking, #b2b #marketing #customers