How To Maximize Your Business Networking Efforts

Many small business owners are eager to get out and hustle for more potential clients. They attend a variety of networking gatherings and exchange a slew of business cards. Weeks later, few of these contacts have generated revenue. What happened?

In this WOWBIZ Inside Scoop video interview, BC Clark, executive Director of Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center (MOWBC), offers insightful tips on how businesspeople can make the most out of networking meetings.

Going with a plan

Before leaving your office for a meeting, have an idea of who you want to connect with. Also, consider how many contacts you want to make at the event. Organize your “elevator speech”, practice your personal brand statement, and most importantly, be succinct.

Engaging the right people

At the networking event, avoid spending too much time with existing contacts; force yourself to engage with new prospects. Utilize existing contacts for introductions and gathering information that may warm an otherwise cold introduction.

Follow up

Email a contact within a day or two after meeting.  Reference the event and work through channels affably. Let them know you remember them and are putting them in your contact list for future reference. Connect with them on LinkedIn and share online conversations with them, noting their degree of involvement. Most importantly, seek to help them in their professional quest rather than obsessing with “What can you do for me?” With regular contact and a sharing attitude, your networking “seeds” will blossom.



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