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What You Should Know About Business Networking

Posted by Administrator On June - 19 - 2009

networking02Business networking is one of those things you know you should do, but if you’re like most people you’d rather be doing something else. Since so many people know how to do business networking the hard way, I am going to show you how to do your business networking the easy way. There is an easy way to make business networking fun and highly profitable. There are two BIG mistakes people make at a business networking event:

1. They think you have to sell and promote yourself at the time of the business networking event.

2. They don’t have a proper follow-up system. (Most people throw away all the business cards they collected without following up. They are losing the power of business networking.)

Business Networking Isn’t about “Making the Sale” Business networking is about building a relationship with a few key people over time. Don’t try to close a sale right there at the business networking event. Your job is to move people into your marketing funnel. Your marketing funnel is a process where people first get to know you, then buy from you, then refer others to you. Think of it as a spiral – the more people go down your funnel, the more money you make.

The funnel itself consists of four parts. You help the person move from being a prospect, to a lead, to a client, to being your unpaid promoter or champion. This process happens over time.

The people you meet at a business networking meeting are prospects because they don’t know you yet. Your goal is to give them a positive experience of you. They will then spiral along your marketing funnel and you will see long-term success from your business networking.

How to Get Prospects into Your Marketing Funnel using Business Networking Remember, a prospect is someone who doesn’t yet know you, so your job is to stand out from the crowd and “introduce” yourself.

1. Hand out an audio or power point presentation CD at business networking events in addition to your business card. Imagine how impressed people will be!

2. Put a call-to-action on the back of your business card: “Want More Profit and Prestige? Get our Special Report 5 Steps to Passive Revenue With Information Products at“.

3. When you introduce yourself to people, tell them that you’d be happy to email them a free tips sheet.

4. If you get the chance to speak for a few moments to the whole group, tell them you have a special report you’d like to send them if they give you their business card.

5. Conduct your own raffle where you give away a valuable offer so you can gather business cards. Then follow up with emails and some kind of special offer like a consultation call with you.

6. Follow up with everyone by offering them a free sample of what you do. Bottom line – you want to entice people to give you their business cards so you can market to them after the business networking event. Make it something so irresistible that they would be foolish not to take you up on your offer. It can be as simple as meeting with someone one-on-one for coffee after the business networking event.

Think “build relationships” over “I’ve got to make a sale!” This will serve you for the long-term because once you become friends with someone they become your marketing champion. Leverage business networking as a starting point for those deeper, more meaningful relationships.

-James Roche, Small business marketing consultant.

One Response to “What You Should Know About Business Networking”

  1. Brendan Higgins says:

    Having been involved in network marketing in the past, I was guilty of having the mindset, sale over relationship. However, being involved in other activities such as acting, music and running, it’s amazing how like people listen to anything I had to say. Quite often I’ve reccomended something which they later purchased. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something that I was to gain from.