How do you make your networking profitable?
Keep your conversations at the 6 -10 minutes. This is a networking event, not a marathon. You speak with someone less than 6 minutes, and they will not remember you nor the conversation when you follow up with them, you speak with them more than 10 minutes and you will miss an opportunity to meet with someone else. More than 10 minutes turns your conversation into a social situation instead of business-generating event.
If you really have a lot to talk about with someone at a networking event because you have so much in common, handle it in either of two ways:
1. Make an appointment to follow up
2. Decide, not default, that this one person is worth more to you than all the unknown others you may meet here. Make sure you are that valuable to them too.
Your goal is to obtain 6 to 10 cards in one hour. This is an easy score to keep – if you are at a 2 hour networking event, you should leave with 12 – 20 business cards with your notes on them in your pocket.
Here is a break down of what kind of results you can expect from an event. When you speak with 6 to 10 people in an hour, 50% of them will be prospects for you, or will know someone they could refer to you. Wouldn’t you rather have 20 conversations to make it 10 prospects? Of the 10 prospects, 50% will be in the immediate market for your product (or service, in my case).
That does not make 5 new clients in two hours however, because your sales skills come into play. If you have excellent sales skills, 50% of the prospects will choose you. That is 2 or 3 new clients from one networking event and then follow up. That is an excellent return on investment. You can get good at this. You will make money. You will have a business.
P.S. Remember, I told you that I had 2 events to go to last week and planned to practice what I am learning from Wendy Kinney? I had 3 demo appointments scheduled from one event, did two so far, have one customer. I had three demo appointments scheduled from the second event, did two so far, have two customers.
I do not have team members from these events yet, but they just might come out of previous demos, because I am going to use the best follow up method – that is right, the product my service provides! I will keep you posted.