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Thoughful Thursdays – Networking or…

… Not Working?

Many of the new businesses I work with propose to develop their prospect database through networking activities.

It is important to recognize that networking is a marketing activity, not a sales activity. It is about the question: “Do you know anyone who…?”

When you decide that networking events will be a part of your promotional activities, it is a good practice to conduct some research. Ask the organizer who the audience is expected to be. Are these regular or one-off events? Is it more social or business?

Once you decide where you are going to network, set objectives. How many contacts do you expect to make. Remember that this is marketing and marketing activities produce prospects. For example, you may set an objective of making four solid connections.

Be mindful of spending too much time with any one person. It is likely you may meet someone who turns out to be a good prospect. Resist the temptation to turn the conversation into a sales call. Exchange contact information and arrange to meet again. Spending your time with one person can reduce the number of contacts you make and significantly reduce the number of prospects you may ultimately reach.

Networking can quickly turn into not-working if you are not focused on achieving your objectives.

In closing, remember why you are networking. Be sure the people you connect with know how they can help you and listen to how you might help them, and follow up.

Good selling,

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