Networking for business is not about selling, but about building relationships. These relationships, then, will in time result in sales or referrals for sales. All too often people enter a networking meeting, hand out business cards to as many people as they can, grab some food, and then leave. These are also the people who are saying that networking doesn’t work, they never get a sale at a networking event, and that it is a waste of time.
In actuality, people do business with people they know and trust. Trust takes time. Approach networking events without expectations of walking away with a new client. Instead, attend these meetings with the goal of reconnecting with those you already know, and meeting a few people you don’t know.
With social media so popular today, many believe they can do all of their networking online. No matter how many friends and followers you have on your various social media sites, it is still essential to participate and contribute to face-to-face networking. Nothing can replace a live, in-person conversation. It is impossible to stay in your office, spending hours on social media, and expect to develop solid business relationships.
The most successful networking approach is a combination of social media and in-person events. Your plan should include a balance of your time for both online and offline networking.
Though many groan about the need to attend live events, this course will give you the guidance and knowledge necessary to network with purpose. Topics covered are the three phases of networking: preparing prior to attending the event, tips to achieve the most benefit while in attendance at an event, and what steps to take afterward to help ensure your time was not wasted.
The modules in this course cover the following topics.
Module 1: Prepare for Networking Success
- Face-to-face networking
- How to choose the right events
- Prepare for the event
Module 2: Attending Networking Events
- Have a plan
- Techniques to work the room
- Be a conversationalist
Module 3: After the Event
- Review your results
- Follow up
- Building the relationships