Networking is one of several marketing techniques to help improve your business. When you attend in-person networking events, you meet people from local businesses in order to get to know, like, and trust them – and for them get to know, like, and trust you.
These steps are important before someone will be comfortable doing business with you. Although you may be able to reach more people through other online techniques, a much stronger bond can be made when you meet someone face-to-face.
In order to make networking effective for you and your business, you should have a strategy before you start networking, in general, and before you go to each event. Here are tips to improve your networking skills and become a more effective networker.
Tips to Improve and Build Your Networking Skills
1. Know your Goals. Networking events are the perfect place to meet people and build relationships. But what do you really want to accomplish when you’re at the event? How many new people do you want to meet? The more people you meet, the more likely you will find someone who fits your ideal customer profile or meet a business you would like to partner with.
2. Build Relationships. Networking is about building relationships, not selling. Save the sales pitch for later and focus on getting to know the people you meet, not just what they do for a living. Find commonality. People would much rather refer a friend to other people.
3. Be Authentic. You are the only you in the world. Let others see that authenticity! If you continue a relationship with some of the people you meet, you want to come across as the same authentic person a week, month, or year from when you originally met them.
4. Listen More than You Talk. In order to build relationships and find commonality, you need to actively listen to what other people are saying. There is a difference between actively listening and listening with the intent to respond. With the latter, you are already thinking about what you want to say, which means you are not focused on what someone is actually saying.
5. Be a Go Giver. “The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea” is a book that, in a nutshell, talks about the power of giving. As you network and develop relationships, consider how you can help them, and not just from a sales perspective.
Think about who you know that could use their products or services or who you might be able to connect them with that could help them with their business. When you give to others without expecting something in return, you become an invaluable resource and those people will want to help you in return.
6. Follow Up with the People You Meet. If you go to these events, meet people, and take their business cards, but never follow up with them again, you have wasted an opportunity to build a relationship. Your goal should not be to see how many business cards you can get in order to add them to your CRM database.
If you never follow up with these people on a personal level, but only blast them with an e-mail campaign (which is not personal), they may consider it to be spam and unsubscribe. Consider sending an e-mail to say that it was nice to meet them and add one personal note about the conversation you had with them. You should also connect with them on social media.
7. Get Involved. Don’t just go to an event once and think you are done with that group. If the goal is to build relationships, it will take time. Once you find a group (or a few) that you like, be sure to attend the meetings regularly.
Pet Butler Peer Groups and National Training Conference
When you become a Pet Butler Franchise Owner, you are part of a community. Pet Butler peer groups are Regional peer group meetings where you share best practices and you are held accountable to do what you need to do.
Each Franchise Owner has an opportunity to meet everyone involved with Pet Butler, including the support center staff, vendors, and other Franchise Owners at the biannual National Training Conference. You can learn from vendors, peers, and other experts in order to improve your business and form relationships with them.
Whether you are in the pet industry and want to diversify or are looking for a turn-key franchise with the resources and support to help you be successful, Pet Butler may be the perfect fit for you. Learn more about Pet Butler by calling 844-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmypetindustrybusiness.com.