a. Make a reservation for your networking event.
The organizer needs to know the head count for many reasons, besides your unconscious mind will see it as a commitment. To yourself.
If you make a reservation/prepay, you are more likely to attend instead of bailing at the last moment.
There is no excuse for not being there. If you die, go the event first, and then go to your funeral.
Keep this appointment, it is part of marketing your business so it is profitable. You need it to be otherwise you will not be able to pay your mortgage and will live on the street with a bag of books and your cat.
This is the beginning of your business credibility – you will do what you said you would. If you make a reservation put it on your calendar and attend. If people see your name badge unused they will think that you’ll ignore their clients if they refer them to you.
Making a reservation and showing up is a big deal.
b. Have lots of business cards. Keep a stash in your car.
Your business card represents you.
Are you impressed when someone digs through a bulging wallet to hand you a card that is dirty and wrinkled and looks a little most with smudges and curled corners? You would not give such a card as a referral to your clients, would you?
Electronic cards, or scanned cards fail to serve the purpose of reminding you what to do next – following up that is, because you do not have them in your hand. If you do run out of cards, remember this trick taught by Wendy Kinney – ask them for their card with mailing address with the promise to mail them yours. Then do it – when you keep your word, they start to trust and like you.
And they get the benefit of touch – something that is covered in depth in another book Gil and I are leaning from ‘Why We Buy’ by Paco Underhill (look on the right in Books if you are curious). Don’t focus on efficiency for your time and task load, focus on building your credibility and impression for a longer term business benefit.