Now use your preparation from last week’s blog to create useful business opportunities from meeting the right people...
In this blog, I am going to refer again to Andy Bound’s networking techniques from his book, The Jelly Effect. The techniques are straightforward and effective and will show you how to get results!
So, imagine you have now entered a networking event with your business cards, pen, name badge and list of professionals who would be most useful to you. You approach an individual and tell them your name. What now?
1. Ask the other person what they do and find out as much as you can about them before telling them anything about you. This way you show an early interest in them and discover their ‘usefulness’ to you, enabling you to tailor the remainder of the conversation around this.
2. During your conversation about the other person’s business, ask:
‘What professions are good contacts for you?’
I agree with Andy Bounds when he says that this is the most valuable networking question. I used it for the first time at a networking event a couple of weeks ago and received a fantastic response. People are genuinely surprised when you show such an interest and will remember you, especially if you then introduce them to one of their useful professionals!
3. It is your turn - talk about what you do, not what you are! This will be more interesting for the other person and prompt further questions from them. For example, I may begin by stating that I help junior professionals achieve great careers.
Now explain the need for your work and confirm that you help meet that need. For example, I may initially talk about professionals wanting to find fulfilment and reward in their careers, such as through improving their work/life balance, progressing in their current career or increasing their confidence.
Close your explanation by giving an example of when you have achieved great things with a client. At this point, I may talk about when I achieved a fantastic result helping a junior solicitor, who was feeling really stressed and de motivated at work, become more confident and productive. In using this approach, you will have learnt a lot more about what I do rather than what I am (which is a career and performance coach by the way!).
4. Remember to chat!
5. If the other person is one of your useful professionals, at the end of the conversation ask if they would mind if you dropped them a line in a couple of days to arrange to meet for a coffee. Ask for their contact details and whether they would like your business card.
6. Now thank the other person and move on to talk to somebody else. You are now enjoying building greater business and career opportunties!
Write your networking pitch now and ensure you follow up on all your useful contacts!