How to Prepare for Business Networking

Depending on the size of the event, most networking meetings allow each person between 10 seconds and 2 minutes for a personal commercial. There are always those people who have a commercial which is planned and well rehearsed. Those people stand out, don’t they? They exude confidence, authority and expertise. They seem as if they’re ready for business.

Preparation is the Key to Creating Opportunity at Networking Events

People who attend Small Business U events are serious about personal development and business. As a result they make great networking partners.

People who attend Small Business U events are serious about personal development and business. As a result they make great networking partners.

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Confucius (and Tony Robbins) said luck is where preparation and opportunity meet. If we show up to networking meetings we are walking into an environment which presents opportunity. That’s why we attend. We are going to get out of it what we put into it. If we go in unprepared, what can we expect? We must present our business, our ideal type of client and the benefits of doing business with us clearly and concisely.

Your Networking Commercial, aka Elevator Speech

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By being prepared in this manner, we’re going to make the most of each and every investment of time and money to attend networking events. When we make the investment of time to clarify the most important and compelling speech, given 10 seconds, 30, 60 and 120, we’re going to increase the chance of attracting new customers every single time we make the presentation. Stumbling, stammering and searching for the right words aren’t going to compel anyone to hire you for your services or refer you to their contacts.

Show up prepared. Dress appropriately. Make eye contact with people around the room as you speak. You’ll feel confident. You’ll look confident, positive, and successful. With every event you attend will come the increased chance of attracting new business and referrals.

Preparing a Good Elevator Speech or Personal Commercial

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Here’s an exercise you can do which will help you deliver a good networking commercial. Answer these questions in a way you can deliver the answers quickly and backed with a tone of confidence and authority. Use any of them alone or string them together as a networking commercial depending on the time permitted at the event.

1. Who do you serve? Who is your ideal client? If you’re in a room with 50 people at a networking event you will usually only get 10 seconds to state your name and your business name. You can still have time to squeeze in your ideal client especially when you have already eyeballed someone in the room with whom you would like to meet or work.

2. Who is your ideal referral partner? By announcing your ideal referral partners, you’re expanding your reach because you’re potentially tapping into another business-persons cache of clients and connections. When given 30-seconds, you can logically tie in the ideal client plus the ideal referral partner.

3. What is your special talent, expertise or value proposition? This is where the rubber meets the road. Benefits rule here. Be conscious of keeping this message about the benefits your prospective clients can expect as a result of your expertise. This commercial can tie together the facts in the others and consume a minute or two.

Practice this. Regardless of the venue, format or occasion, being prepared with a brief and cogent commercial will always serve you well.

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About the Author Maze

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6 comments
George the Dry Cleaner says January 10, 2016

Also there are three things I can think of off the top of my head and that is when speaking to someone don’t look around the room when they are talking to see who your next victim is going to be and also ask them first what is it that you do and who do you need to connect with. The most important aspect of networking is follow up after the event. A lot of people think they can do business at a networking event and this is just the beginning. Anyone that wants to know more about this can contact me. I am George the Dry Cleaner and you can contact me at georgesdrycleaning.com

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    admin says January 12, 2016

    Great points, George. Thank you for sharing your insights and thanks also for attending the meeting last night.

    Reply
Lisa Michaels says January 11, 2016

Thank you for great tips on entering the event this evening . I believe it all comes down to presence and tack and manners . Talent can only get us so far in our work, it’s principals before personalities . Lisa Michaels

Reply
    admin says January 12, 2016

    Thanks for the kind comment, Lisa and thank you also for attending. You tell a great story about your business and how you persistence and focus have paid off in building a strong, debt-free business. Really great.

    Reply
Link says May 23, 2016

Come prepared to network by bringing business cards, a pen and a small notebook. Make sure you eat before you go. If it’s a cocktail party, or finger foods are being served during the networking portion of the meeting, it’s better to carry only a drink, instead of trying to juggle a plate of food.

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Hosting says May 29, 2016

Once you have someone’s business card, make sure you follow up with them within 24 hours of the event. If there’s an obvious win-win connection with someone you’ve met at an event, call them up and invite them to lunch to explore the connection further. When you write the networking event into your calendar, also add one or two hours the following day into your calendar for follow-up so that you know you have time to complete the task.

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