Recently, SCORE presented an important workshop called Networking for Business. They covered how to build a business through networking, tools for the networker, types of events to attend in order to network, considerations to take when networking, and following up with contacts made at a networking event.
- Before attending any networking event, define why you would like to attend it and consider what goals you plan to accomplish by attending.
- Prepare and practice your introductory speech and keep it at 45 seconds or less. Consider what you are going to talk about that will make you stand out — perhaps you specialize in a certain area. Use what will stick in someone’s mind.
- While business cards can be handy, all you really need to have on hand at a networking event is something to write on. If you do not have a business card, you can ask those who you are interested in doing business with for theirs.
- Remember names whenever possible. Sometimes this can be difficult but if you do remember a name, it shows you have a genuine interest in the person you are communicating with.
- A few types of events to attend include: Business Expos, Chamber of Commerce events, and structured events such as BNI and LeTip meetings.
- Always be professional when you are networking — keep your mobile devices turned off, be courteous toward others, and get permission to follow up.
- If you say you are going to follow up, be sure to do it, and do it within a reasonable time period.
- When following up, you can try for face-to-face meetings and if you have one, ask your connections if you can add them to your email list. Keeping yourself in the head of the people you would like to do business with can help you to close a sale.
Stay on the lookout for future seminars at First Financial – we offer a business seminar each month! If you have any business banking or loan related questions, contact Business Development.