The big question is “How do you prospect at networking events?” Now I’m not talking about having an opportunity meeting and inviting people to that meeting. I’m talking about going to events like Chamber events, marketing events and events that maybe don’t pertain to your home based business and trying to pick up some prospects.
I talk to people all the time that get excited about their home based business or Network Marketing business opportunity and they want to share it with as many people as possible. Makes sense, right? Well, you may be shooting yourself in the face (yes, face…not foot) if you attempt to utilize networking functions the way most people do. This brief post will keep you from embarrassing yourself and turning potential prospects off and will teach you a powerful way to use networking events.
First let me tell you what most people do, which I strongly disagree with. Most people arm themselves with flyers, business cards, sales sheets and sign up forms. They go to an event and they think it’s a contest to see how many pieces of material they can get out about their company. That doesn’t work. Your goal when going to a networking function is to collect information. The most powerful thing you can take to a networking function is empty pockets. Now hear me out here. First of all, you go to a networking function, people don’t know you, trying to cram down flyers down their throat doesn’t work. Going to a networking function and someone signing up into your home based business from reading your flyer or business card almost never happens. What you’ll end up doing is turn off a whole lot of people. People will be like “that’s the person that showed up at our event and was marketing their thing.” You don’t want to be that person.
It’s much more powerful to go to a networking event and collect information. One thing that’s absolutely true is that no one follows up after networking events. For example, if you give out your flyer to 50 different people and they are interested in your business, the chances that they’ll call you back are slim or next to none. However, if you have their information, you can follow up with them.
Here’s the blueprint. Go to functions where the type of people you want in your business will most likely be attending. Go to events like marketing events, motivation events, inspirational events, educational events, etc. Basically go to events where professionals are going to be at. Stay away from negative events, “whine & cry” events and things like that. I would go to events where upstanding individuals in the community are going to be at. When you get there, commit to collecting as many business cards as you possibly can.
The power is in the follow up. What you can do is collect as many business cards as possible, connect with people, be nice to them and don’t bring up your business. I know that’s going to be hard for some of you. Let me say it again. DON’T BRING UP YOUR BUSINESS! If they ask you what you do, say something very brief and turn it back and ask them questions. You see, if you ask someone what they do and you ask all about them, they’ll think you’re the greatest conversationalist in the world because everyone likes to hear about themselves. So ask them questions. Don’t puke on them about your business. What you want to do is get their information and contact them the next day or the day after.
Here’s a strategy you can use when you contact them. If you meet someone at an event, shoot them an email that night letting them know it was nice to connect with them at the event and that you’ll talk with them soon. Call them the next day and say “Hey I met you at the event and thought you’re an interesting person, maybe we can meet up for coffee or something….maybe we can chat a little bit and maybe there’s a way we can work together.” Follow up with them that way. You see, if you’re not pitching them your business right away, that’s very powerful.
The rookie goes there armed with flyers and business cards and sales gadgets and “ask me about my business” buttons and all that crap. That just doesn’t work. You actually turn more people off than you’ll ever get in your business.
I bet some of you wish you saw this BEFORE you attended that last event! Well, now you are armed for the next event! These tactics have helped me with list building, relationship building and in building my home based business and I hope they help you as well!
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