I am sure everybody in there professional world, would have come across a conversation or debate “Whether Networking is important for a company or not”.
I feel it’s always an open debate. I have come across many reasons from my experience against the networking event “Networking events don’t really work for me”… “Its waste of time”... “We can close a deal in the same time spending in networking” etc …
As it’s said very well “It’s not about who you know, It’s about who knows your brand”.
It’s very well said by one of the gentleman I met in an event. “Is your business generated by someone making a decision? If YES, then let’s start meeting more people that can make decisions and can you do more business.
I would like to share few points followed by me in networking event and open to learn from you more by end of this blog. It’s fun to keep the book open for learning new ideas and feedbacks.
Let’s share few points and importance of networking for the company.
Networking for the company is not about 1+1 = 2(Instant answer). It’s like sowing a seed and waiting for the fruits. Once the tree starts bearing fruits, you can’t imagine the count. But in the meanwhile, we need to follow the practice of taking care and nourishing it. So networking is equally important to a company for its better and long term growth.
Company presence or visibility in the market.
Networking will help in injecting the brand/ product into people’s mind and market. By this constant exercise, the product is known to market and is constantly creating awareness. The more marketing, better visibility of the product.
Opportunities to spread the product.
You get enough opportunities through networking to spread the presence of product in the market. Networking is worth an astronomical amount. People should give credit to the networking when opportunities come. Most of the time people think as the deal is closed due to their luck, or they are awesome etc. Somewhere networking is involved behind every deal.
Stay connected with current global market.
Continuous networking will also assist us to stay connected with the market trend. Assists us in updating or leading new strategies for the company. It might be in terms of software or technologies.
Let’s talk about few basic points to keep in mind before entering networking event.
Choose the correct event and be selective
We need to choose the correct event suitable for the nature of work we represent. Do the homework on event section. It’s very important. Time is precious and money can be made but can’t buy the time. We can’t expect wonders or deal closure on the first meet. The first meeting allows us to meet new people and second time you meet the person, relationship is cultivated and make sure we continue the relationship by continuing and building it. This is very important for the brand.
Observation and Learning
It’s very important to observe the surrounding and try to get involved with the environment. Spot on the speakers interacting with each other and try to listen. By doing this two process, we are getting into the mode of learning. Pick on individual members and start talking to them. Try to capture the good things learnt from the speakers. I’m sure there will be a lot to learn from a single event i.e. introduction speech, body language, dressing sense etc.
It’s advisable to be prepared with a short 30 seconds elevator speech on our product. We are not out to do sales, so keep it short and sweet. Listen to their product and try to get connected with them. It’s very important to try and match to maintain the same wave length rather than talking, how good is our business. Once the comfort level is created, the business strategy will automatically flow in like a honey.
Out of Sight, out of mind
It’s not only important to meet new people and get introduced. It’s very important to develop and continue the relation. This continuation is very important. This is possible in various ways. It might be meeting them in most of the common events. Connecting them in social media, as soon as we are out of the event. These are few points to try and make the connection develop. We can also meet them after office hours for a cup of coffee etc.
Let’s focus on the negative/don’ts of the networking.
Networking is a part of marketing and very important for a brand. It’s worth spending time and effort towards networking. We need to focus on avoiding few things during networking, as the time and effort spent towards networking is very important.
We go to networking event to purely connect with new people and not finding clients. Let’s focus on knowing more people. They may or may not directly be your clients. As time passes, the same people will get you strong leads which can be converted easily without much of an effort. This is possible only if the relation is maintained.
We don’t do networking for the sake of distributing our business cards. We need to focus on creating an impression to make them remember us. Quality is important than the quantity.
Let’s not jump on to our elevation speech immediately. Try listening to them and understand there business. If possible, please try to assist them and refer them. This will lead into rapport building and ultimately, just get to know more about them.
Let’s not focus on direct sales. Let’s churn the contacts and develop the relationship. If we have followed up by email – don’t send a sales pitch. You'll find your networking will start yielding more connections, friends, referrals and opportunities!
All the best and lets do more networking and build our contacts and market our brand.