A Networker’s Checklist
Networking is one of the most effective, by word of mouth marketing strategies you can participate in on a weekly basis. When done correctly and with a plan in place, your business can thrive and flourish.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Networking:
- DO ditch the pitch – no one likes to be sold, especially at a networking meeting or event
- DO enter the networking event with the expectation of meeting people with the sole purpose of building relationships
- DON’T be a card dealer, shoving a card in every open hand you see
- DO exchange business cards with a purpose
- DON’T monopolize conversations
- DO come prepared with conversation starters
Before you arrive, do some homework:
- Determine who will be at the event
- Identify those who you would like to meet
- Understand the mission or goal of the event/group you are visiting
- Be prepared to collect cards and have a plan for what to do with them after the meeting or event
- Craft and rehearse a 30-second commercial with a powerful, attention grabbing opening. Ask for an introduction to key people who can help your business. Who would be a good referral for you this week?
A well prepared networker always has the following available during the meeting or event:
- Bring your smile! It makes you more approachable
- Ample Business Cards
- Appointment Calendar
- Name Badge
- Pen (ball point or fine tipped Sharpies write well on glossy business cards)
- Product Samples and/or Display to arrange at your seat
- Crafted and rehearsed 30-second commercial with powerful attention grabbing opening
- List of the 3 people you want to schedule a one-to-one meeting with
- Breath mints…you never know when you might need one!
During The Meeting:
- Actively listen to 30-second commercials
- Make a list of the people who you can help and how
- Make a list of the people you would like to schedule one-to-one meetings with
- Try to associate names with faces (hint: draw a map of the room and label each seat with the person’s name who is sitting at each spot)
- Collect business cards (hint: make notes on the cards to help you remember them and how you can help each other)
- Be prepared to give testimonials for the people you have done business with
- Ask for referrals! Be specific about the business or person you are looking to meet this week
- Schedule one-to-one meetings before people leave the meeting room
After The Meeting:
- Follow-up and schedule one-to-one meetings with people you weren’t able to get grab before the meeting ended
- Prepare for the next meeting. Ask the organizer how you can help during upcoming meetings. This can help you meet more people and naturally build relationships if you have a role.
- Send thank you notes! Especially when you receive a referral or after a one-to-one. This personal touch makes you memorable for the right reasons.
The bottom line is, you must have a plan to be successful at networking. While showing up to meetings is important, it is what you do before, during and after that makes it all worthwhile.