These are some strategies to get the most out of a business event. Take note!
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
It is no secret that networking events are excellent places to meet potential clients, users and strategic business allies on a personal and professional level. However, unfortunately many of us go to these events and taste the food, drink the cocktails, talk to a couple of strangers … and rarely make significant connections.
To increase your chances of interacting on a more personal level and win customers and friends, it is important that you set up an appointment to subsequently connect more deeply.
The key to getting an appointment with someone is to be clear about the reasons why you want to meet. Can they become a good reference or strategic allies ? Could they become your customers? You need to propose attractive reasons to meet later, and then your chances of setting up a meeting will increase.
These are four strategies to get that meeting before leaving a networking event.
1. Attend important events
Dozens of networking events are organized every day. Your first step is to plan, and select only those in which you think your potential customers and affiliates might be. Also, do not assume that you can only meet potential clients at professional events: explore other places, such as group sessions, charitable events or meetings in your community.
2. Do your homework
Today, many networking events are held online (for example, through or), and the lists of attendees are published before. Review them and identify the people you are most interested in. Research their background and determine if they would be good contacts for your business. If so, think about the best way to approach them. If you know who you are approaching, you will have more conversation topics and possibilities to make an appointment.
3. Introduce yourself
Write the names of the people you are interested in knowing on your Smartphone or your notebook, and also write down some essential details that you need to remember. Once you arrive at the event, the list will help you remember names and stay focused. You can recognize them through photos in the guest list or by reading their labels. Once you see someone you want to meet, smile, offer your hand, say your name and what do you do. Ask open-ended questions and try to find out if they have anything in common . Listen more and talk less. Focus on the other person instead of yourself.
4. Suggest a later meeting
Be brief and don't monopolize a person's time. Focus on creating an understanding, not selling. Ask others about themselves, about their businesses and what they like to do when they are not working. Most people love to talk about their hobbies and interests. Show a genuine interest in others and what they have to say and offer help whenever you can.
If you think someone is a potential client or business ally, say something like “it has been amazing talking to you, but I'm sure there are more people here who want to meet you. I would like to continue this conversation later because I think we could work together on ______. I would love to meet another day to talk more about what we do. Can I call you or write to you tomorrow? ” At that point, if there is a mutual understanding, the person will surely accept your proposal.
Better yet: make the appointment before leaving the event, and send a reminder by email the next day. The longer it takes to set up the appointment, the harder it will be to get it.
Attending networking events is only the first step in identifying potential clients or affiliates. One-to-one meetings will exponentially increase your chances of achieving your business objectives. Start implementing these tips today!