Regularly attending industry-related events is critical to any business’s success. Entrepreneurs can meet new customers, suppliers and mentors at such occasions; and the key to getting the most out of these important relationships is to cultivate them through inexpensive, simple and highly effective networking techniques.
If you’re attending any conferences, trade shows or seminars before the year’s end—The Art of Small Business is one event that’s on our calendar this month—then here are five easy tips to help you network successfully.
1. Prepare your 30-second commercial
You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Write, edit and rehearse a short summary of what your business does, who you serve and why people love to deal with you.
2. Take notes
Write down the gist of your conversation with a new contact on the back of their business card. Refer to your chat when you follow up.
3. Focus on one objective per event
Contrary to popular belief, your goal isn’t to hand out as many business cards as possible. Your goal for any business networking event should be to meet one supplier, meet one colleague or meet one prospect.
4. Keep it short and sweet
Don’t engage a new business contact for ten minutes. Give them a brief introduction to you and your business, and let them do the same. You’ll have time to expand on what you do during post-event follow up.
5. Follow up
What you say isn’t as important as what you do. Within a few days, be sure to contact each person to arrange a coffee, informal meeting or phone call to explore a business relationship.
Networking is an important aspect of any business. By attending industry events, joining mastermind groups and socializing with like-minded business owners, you’ll find that your creativity, productivity and passion for your company will soar.
Try and keep abreast of conferences going on in your field, and if you want to put your newly-discovered networking tips into practice, join us at The Art of Small Business event on October 21st, 2013 to hear experts such as Michael Gerber, JJ Ramberg, Chris Guillebeau and Mitch Joel talk small biz.
For this this year’s inaugural event, we’re partnering with The Art Of to share a preferred rate for the conference with our small business community. Use promo code BIZLAUNCH26 and save up to $100 off your full-day pass.
We hope to see some of you there, but for those who can’t attend, we’ll also be live tweeting from the event using hash tag #TheArtOf.