Net knocks or Net works? My take five!
Check out Paula Grizzard’s top tips for Networking success!
Lots of people have asked me what my 5 tips are for getting the most out of their networking. So many people cringe at the thought of going to events where they are expected to work the room. So what is networking really about in today’s market and how can we avoid net knocks and make sure it’s all about Net works?
At a recent event I met a top entrepreneur who introduced himself to me. In his first sentence he told me his company name and turnover. This made me realise how outdated some people still are in how they network. It felt he was selling in my face! Women in Business Network was created 14 years ago to simply recognise that it helps women entrepreneurs, particularly those relatively new to the market, to have a defined space each month to meet, share ideas with peers and develop networking skills.
Before you go to an event, take 5 minutes to think about your businesses.
What do you want to get out of the event? Who/what type of businesses do you want to meet?
Engage, don’t sell? It’s the old adage people buy from people they can engage with.
Listen and think how you can help another person. The other adage what goes around comes around is true! If you can help someone else, they are more likely to help you.
3. Be open-minded.
Don’t just discard someone you meet because their product or service doesn’t resonate. We all have hundreds in our business and personal networks. They may have just the right connection for you in their business or personal network.
4. Follow up.
Make sure you contact people you meet. Have that one to one meeting. The more you know about other businesses and them yours, the easier it is to pass leads and referrals.
Build trust and the rewards will be returned over time. Passing a referral can be reputational if you trust a business it’s likely others will too.
Women in Business Network creates the space each month for structured networking for business owners and women influences within a business. My experience as Regional Director for Yorkshire over the last 4 years is this: It’s professional, focussed, friendly and fun. If you can create that mix you have got a successful networking group who look forward and prepare for their meeting. Its net works!
Paula Grizzard is regional Director of Women in Business Network (WIBN) Yorkshire.
WIBN is a national network of businesswomen meeting monthly to do business over lunch.
WIBN is a single category membership network.