Have you ever been invited to a networking breakfast? Or a networking lunch? These may should sort of strange to the person who has never been to one before, but these types of situations are key to moving yourself to talk with others about what you do, how you do it, and what you provide in the form of services and products.
Many areas have their own type of networking events
These include business meetings to talk about the economy, or business meetings to set new ordinances for the local surroundings – everywhere you have people; you have the opportunity to ‘do’ additional networking. The more people you know and talk with the stronger your network of business contacts and customer contact is going to become.
The first step to successful local networking is going to involve doing it
You need to get out there, and be where other business owners are, or at least where large groups of people are going to be found. Next, you need a good opening question. The best question you can ask a person when you are networking is, what do you do? This is not only going to open the door to talking with another person, but also it is going to open the door for that person in turn to ask you what you do – which is just what you want them to ask you!
Networking should be done in conversation when you are in situations where you don’t know someone all that well. Business cards are often given out, and passed around. If you are heading off to a club meeting, or a networking business affair, you should also have marketing materials with you, such as a brochure or some type of printed matter to show and tell others what you do. As others find your materials handed to them, or presented on a table of information, they have something tangible to take with them, read later, and to think about later.
Collect phone number, emails and information about other businesses. As you collect information about others, you will soon learn that you can use this information after you are back at the office, back at your own business. Create a marketing package for each individual that you have met. Mail out the information with a personal note from you, that it was great talking with you, and you just wanted to share some additional information about your business with them, in case they ever have a need for a product or service that you provide. This is very straight marketing, after the initial networking event, make it work for you!