Email and call sales? Easy. Sales presentations you have practiced to perfection? You could do those in your sleep. But to meet new allies through the power of connection at networking events? This is not everyone’s strong suit. However, networking events are a crucial part of a salesperson’s job and you cannot afford to let your discomfort stand in your way of making fruitful connections. Ted Birkhahn, writing for Ragan, offers a few tips to keep in mind for your next networking event.
The 3 Steps to Meet New Allies
Create a Goal
When you go to meet new allies, what type of people are you hoping to connect to at networking events? To accomplish successful networking, ask yourself if you are trying to find new prospects or if you would rather focus on finding someone in your industry who you can discuss trends with. Once you have you have determined your goal, you can proceed to the next tip.
Is there a registration list or an event page on social media that can show you who is going to be at the networking event? Use that list to your advantage to find out in advance who you should be introducing yourself to in order to meet new allies. However, successful networking doesn’t stop at name, face and job title. You must also look for any developments they or their company have been a part of recently. Or see if you can find an interest or two that you share with the person to slip into conversation to help you stand out to the person, even after you have gone your separate ways. It’s like a presentation; the more prepared you are for what you will say, the easier it will be to talk about. So, be sure to do your research on the people you wish to talk to in advance.
Establish a Connection
Once you meet new allies, don’t forget to exchange business cards with your new connections or add them on social media. What good will all your work to meet and talk with them have been if you do not follow through and further develop a professional relationship with the person down the line? Email them industry updates or open up a discussion about the game both of your favorite sports teams played the night before. If you keep yourself top of mind, you will be the recipient of useful information or a new sale you may not have gotten otherwise.