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The Art of Professional Networking (Part 2)

networking

The day of the event!

Ready to meet prospective clients? Before you dash out the door, here is a quick list of things to consider:

Do you know anyone who might be attending? 

If so, great! Reach out to them and ask what time they plan on arriving. Knowing someone at a professional event can help you feel more comfortable and perhaps they can introduce you to people they know. And voilà, a new prospective client!

Did you rehearse your elevator speech? 

Take a few moments to review the basics so that you exude confidence. Practice in front of a mirror or a trusted colleague who has your best interest at heart.  Rehearse saying your full name, title or occupation out loud. You would be surprised to hear how different it sounds from inside your head. Laugh! Shake out the nervousness. 

Are you able to recite your Unique Selling Proposition within 15-30 seconds? What sets you apart from the competition?

Create a niche offering. Take the time to write down a few key points. Rewrite them in different formats to ensure that you don’t sound like a robot. This will allow for flexibility with your vocabulary so that you can adjust your offering accordingly.

Take a deep breath and smile. The words should flow more smoothly. 

Do you have ample business cards? 

Although some people may find handing out business cards dated, they are still the quickest way to leave your contact information. Also, there won’t be any room for error in your name or coordinates.

Offer your prospect two. One for them and offer the other in case the person may know someone that might be interested in your offering. This makes referrals easier.

Do you look confident and approachable?

You would be surprised to learn how many people are nervous at these events. Don’t fidget. Smile and let your eyes roam the room for another warm smile.

When meeting someone, always reach out with your right hand and look at the person in the eyes, and offer your business card. Start a conversation. Ask the person about his or her company and its offerings. Learn as much as you can by asking smart questions which may lead you to offer your services.

After a few minutes, arrange for a potential meeting to explore opportunities further. Move forward to the next smiling prospect.

Ultimate Goal: The art of networking is to make new contacts and reconnect with existing ones.  Building strong personable relationships is key. There is no prize because you have the longest email list. ONE great client is better than 10 prospects who will never need your services. No one likes to be spammed with endless emails. No one likes a pushy salesperson.

Need new snazzy business cards or if you are interested in being coached by someone who has networked for over 25 years, please contact me at 514-839-0505 or zita@izita.ca. It will be my pleasure to assist you in the next leg of your journey.