- Know your ideal prospect.
- Rehearse questions that will eliminate all other suspects quickly.
- Set written goals:
- # of conversations: How many people will you speak to?
- # of leads for appointments: How many “actionable” business cards will you take?
- Organize your mobile “office” (i.e., your clothing)
- Pocket for your cards (same one all the time)
- Pocket for their cards (same one all the time)
- Name badge
- Place on right breast (to be seen when you are shaking hands)
- Use font that is readable from 3 feet away in dim light
- Dress not to be noticed but to be appropriate for group and comfort
At a networking event, DO:
- Expect to learn about contacts; get leads; maybe get an appointment
- Meet new people; establish contacts; learn about people; exchange info/leads
- Discover opportunities you can address; tease / build around how you can impact
- Make arrangements for a future phone call to set up appointment. Ask for the administrative assistant’s (gatekeeper’s) name. (Ask your new contact to have them tell assistant he/she is “expecting my call,” and offer a second card for the assistant.)
Working the event
- Meeting & Greeting:
- Use firm handshake (not limp; don’t crush).
- Note eye color of person to whom you’re talking.
- Politely use prepared disengagement line.
- Move on quickly.
- Body Language:
- Relaxed (comfortable).
- Open stance (engaging).
- Approachable smile (inviting).
- Don’t interrupt.
- Don’t monopolize other people’s time.
- Do invite 3rd and 4th parties into conversation as soon as possible.
- Other people’s time.
- Other people’s space.
After the event
- Make desired or committed follow-up contacts within 48 hours
- Keep score – measure your performance / measure fruitfulness of event or event type:
#talks #cards taken #dials afterwards #appointments #closed sales
- Study the performance ratios:
Leads-to-conversations Appointments-to-leads Closes-to-appointments
- Evaluate results from each network event you attend from time to time to validate that your return on investment of time, effort and money is worth it.