I got a call the other day from a lady who heard about the Luncheon and she said to me. “Lourdes, I went to a networking event once and nothing happened. Will your group make me money?”
Some people would have gotten offended by the question, especially because the delivery was rather harsh. But I think it’s a fair question.
While we might enjoy the friendships that we make at networking events, let’s be honest, we attend because we want to find clients and make valuable business connections. If an organization is not yielding results, what’s the point of attending, other than “you like everyone.”
Most networking organizations want to create an atmosphere where business can occur. But you can’t expect to make any sales or connections from simply attending one event.
Networking might lead to a fast sale or inquiry, but more often than not people will need to get to know you so that they can trust you in order for them to even consider doing business with you or referring business to you.
Over the next few days I’ll be posting 10 networking tips to help you make the most of this Luncheon and any other networking events that you might attend. I warn you, I’m not going to sugar-coat this. But I really want you to benefit from the Luncheon and other networking efforts, so I promise that even if you don’t like everything I have to say, it will be worth the read.
Tip #1 – Participate fully in the event.
If you are going to spend the time and money to attend a networking event be present mentally and emotionally and not just physically. I see people doing the following all the time:
1. Texting when someone is talking to them.
2. Talking on their cell phone when there is an event speaker doing their presentation.
3. Coming in late, just in time to make their own introduction to the group but not sticking around to listen to everyone else.
4. Getting up during the proceedings to look at the promotional materials table and ignoring the speaker all together.
5. Carrying on a long, loud and apparently humorous conversation during the event.
There are times that there is an emergency and you must take a call or leave early and that is, of course, excusable. But if you act as if you are completely disinterested in others, you’ll never succeed in marketing or sales. People not only see your disinterest but they’ll feel it and no one wants to do business with someone that just sees them as a number.
You’ll have to center yourself and mentally prepare yourself to get the most from the event. Turn-off your phone, stay off your iPad, and during the time that you are at the event try to put all other business worries out of your mind. Networking is like gardening, you have to cultivate the relationships that you make their in order to receive the maximum benefit.
Stay tuned for tip #2 – Set Realistic Expectations…