If you’re looking for business, you need to network. The trick is finding the right people to talk to. If you show up at an event and start pitching your latest product or service to everyone who walks by, no one will pay attention—and even if they do listen (because maybe they like free stuff), they probably won’t take you seriously because it seems obvious that you just want their money.
If people aren’t interested in what you have to offer, then why would they care about what else is going on in your life? You should think of networking events as opportunities: not only do they give you access to potential customers and partners, but also allow you to make new friends who share common interests with you while also providing some time away from work! In this article, we’ll look at some ways that can help maximize those benefits while minimizing the drawbacks.
Have a clear idea of what you want from the event.
Have a clear idea of what you want from the event. This is especially important if you are attending an event for networking purposes, as it will help you stay focused on your goals and make the most of your time there. If you’re looking for new clients or contacts, be sure to know exactly what type of company or person might be interested in what you have to offer.
Once it’s been determined what kind of client or contact will benefit from your services and products, create an action plan that includes how they can find out more about them once they return home (e.g., posting social media updates with links back to their website).
Also, consider how they might follow up with these leads at a later date (e.g., sending out emails summarizing key points discussed during interactions at the trade show).
Don’t waste time pitching to people who aren’t qualified prospects.
There are a handful of reasons why this is important. First, you’re wasting your time. If you’re pitching to people who aren’t qualified prospects, then it won’t be long before they’re saying “no.” Each no-thank-you takes away from the amount of time and energy you have left for people who actually do qualify as potential clients.
Second, if you pitch to someone who isn’t a qualified prospect but still decides that they want to work with you anyway (or even worse—if they want to be your best friend), then it devalues what it means when someone actually does qualify as a prospect and say yes when asked if they want help in growing their business. You’ll start feeling like anyone will take what you do seriously no matter how ridiculous or misguided their needs might be!
Thirdly, by focusing on only those individuals who are already potential customers (and therefore less likely than average folks at conferences), we can easily avoid wasting time trying our hardest only for someone else’s agenda to get in the way of ours; because remember: Your agenda should always come first!
Remember that networking is about building relationships, not about asking for favors.
If you go into an event with the mindset of “I want, I want, I want”, then it can be hard to establish a meaningful relationship or two with people. Instead, focus on giving value first and foremost (through your knowledge and expertise). By doing this others will be more inclined to help you when they see that you are willing to share your own knowledge with them as well.
Ask for advice, not money or introductions.
The best way to get people to know you is by asking for advice, not money or introductions. Your fellow speakers and attendees are the most qualified people in the room when it comes to sharing their experience. They’ve been there before, so they’ll be able to give you a realistic look at what’s coming up for your business next.
When you ask for advice, people will be more inclined to listen (and possibly even help out). If someone gives you a piece of advice that isn’t useful enough for them or their company, they can pass it on without feeling like they wasted their time on a conversation with someone who didn’t need help from them specifically—or from anyone!
Make it easy for people to remember your business.
There are plenty of ways to make your company stand out from the crowd. One way is to use a short, memorable name that’s also easy to say and spell. It’s a good idea to choose something that doesn’t have any negative connotations (like “abandonware”). You want people talking about how great you are—not how awkward or strange it is to say your company name!
Use a memorable logo that matches with your business name. Your logo should be fun and appealing, but most importantly, it needs to be memorable so that people start associating you with it as soon as they see it! To draw attention to your booth, make sure to design an eye-catching event banner.
Make sure your website is easy-to-navigate and mobile-friendly so users can find what they need quickly without getting frustrated by having too many options at once – especially since time spent on websites has dropped by nearly half since 2016 mostly due to accessibility issues.
Have professional business cards—and enough of them.
You don’t need a lot of business cards, but you do need to have them on hand. Be sure that your cards have all the information you want to convey—your name, title, and company (if applicable), contact info, and social media handles.
If you’re handing out multiple different types of cards, put each type on its own page so they’re easy to sort through when people are taking notes later.
If someone takes one of your business cards while they’re at an event and doesn’t immediately write down their contact info, make sure they know how easy it will be for them to find what they need by looking up your website or following you on social media channels like Twitter or LinkedIn!
And if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful networking strategy at events. Remember that networking is just one part of what we do as marketers: it should complement our other marketing efforts rather than replace them.
If you follow these steps and are still feeling like something isn’t working, don’t worry! There’s always room for improvement in any marketing campaign—and there are plenty of other ways besides networking events where you can promote yourself and build relationships with potential clients or partners.