BUZZ QUOTE ~ “Great minds discuss ideas: average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
I have just got back from presenting at the AIM Open House event today. Thanks to the questions from the audience about the awkwardness networking can bring, I have some (timely) reminders for you...
Starting tomorrow with Melbourne Cup, so please read this if you want to make the most the opportunities ahead.
It’s such a fun time of year. Everyone is in celebration mode. Think about everything happening in the next 6 – 8 weeks. Are you ready?
OK - let's put this into perspective, there are LOTS of corporate hospitality events around special events like the Melbourne Cup, associations are inviting their members to kick their heels up, end of year networking parties are everywhere and internal Christmas parties are scheduled into employee calendars.
Phew! Exhausted yet?
Before you get tired just thinking about it, come up with ways to leverage those events from a networking perspective.
WHO WILL BE THERE?
Who is going to the event? What type of people are attending? Sure, you might get invited to one of the Marquees in the exclusive Birdcage area at Oaks Day but are the other guests’ potential clients or contacts for you? It may be part of your strategy to just be seen at such an exclusive event, which is fine too!
WHO SHOULD ATTEND FROM YOUR TEAM?
If you work in a team, have a chat about all the events coming up and be strategic about who you send from the team. Play to your strengths. Remember not to stick together if a few of you go!
WHO CAN YOU INVITE ALONG?
Invite people already in your network or on your client lists. This will elevate their business relationship with you and put you front of mind with them.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TALK ABOUT?
We love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt above. If you’ve got face to face time with someone, talk high level. Talk about ideas and imagination and creativity. It’s much more memorable and can instigate some fantastic tangents to a regular old networking conversation.
KEEP ON YOUR TOES
While people are being social at networking events, sometimes they let their guard down and divulge a little more than they might normally do. Keep your eye out for this!
LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION
Research says it takes seven seconds to make a first impression. You’ll know pretty quickly as to whether the person you are chatting to is a potential sales lead or a contact that could lead you to another opportunity. If you’re stuck with a person who isn’t that, exit stage left politely.
Just because it may be more of a social occasion than a business occasion, it doesn’t mean you should drag the chain on following up leads and fresh new contacts you have made during the Silly Season! Post event be sure to sit down and strategise around who, when and how you follow up. Research we have conducted at the Business Networking Academy shows that 71% of people DON'T follow up after events. You will waste a lot of time and money if you aren't proactive in building the right network to support you.
If you want to focus on getting great results from this busy time of year, book a Silly Season Networking Skills session. It’s a 90 minute Lunch and Learn that will have you and your team making the most of the all-important end of year events. Click here for more information or Download PDF here.
Wishing you every success with your upcoming events:)