The time has come for for us all to dust off our business cards (OK maybe you've already ordered a second brand new set of cards for this year because your are so actively networking!).
SBN networking is set to resume very shortly, for some as soon as next week. So I thought it was appropriate to remind everyone of the appropriate conduct and what to expect.
Upon arrival you are encouraged to mingle with the other people there. A perfect reason to be early because you get to see everyone as they arrive and you get to chat with them all. That is what networking is about! Getting to know like minded people!
Remember that networking (especially SBN networking!) is not about just being there to sell your goods or services! If you are only looking to make a quick buck or interested in doing a hard sell, I'm sure you'll find more appropriate places to do that!
SBN networking is about building long term mutually beneficial relationships that will benefit you and your business much more than just making a few quick sales! Establishes alliances and create ambassadors for your business by being truly interested in what others do! You may find that they offer a service a product that could revolutionise your business. Or you may find someone you can set up a strategic partnership with so you can refer business to each other.
Once the coordinator invites you to sit down and welcomes you, each person gets an opportunity to introduce themselves. Please take no more than 2 minutes to do this to give everyone a fair opportunity (or a fair go as we say in Oz!)
Now 2 minutes can seem a long time if you're unprepared! And to some people it can seem very daunting to get up in front of people like that!Rest assured though that EVERYONE is in the same boat. No one is there to judge you and providing you keep it short and sweet, I guarantee that everyone is actually interested in hearing who you are and what you do! It can be as simple as "Hi, my name is Philip Scott and my business is SAbona magazine. SAbona is an online magazine for Southern Africans living in Australia."
OK now obviously you want to use your own name and business info! It's not that I mind if you pretend to me, but you'd have to live with the consequences!
That's all you need to do, but if you really want networking to work for you, it is a great idea to add just a little bit of personal info. Something that makes people remember you. One of our long time members always introduces herself as "Connie, and I am from the Transvaal". Now there may be many others that also hails from the Transvaal originally, but she's made it her own and it makes her memorable! OK she also happens to be an absolutely lovely lady and she is ALWAYS there! The only way to truly get the benefit of networking. Make sure you're ALWAYS there! Your presence is what makes it work for you!
Of course you should hand cards out ... but be respectful about it. Don't just shove cards in people's hands. This may cause them to do one of 2 things. Either they will drop your card into the nearest bin, or they'll add your details to their mailing list. After all you did ask them to contact you! Business you'll get from them? ZERO!
Instead, rather have a chat with them, be interested in what they do and soon enough they will ask about your business too. And I guarantee you they will ask you for a business card!!!! When they ask, they will keep it! And probably contact you personally and do business with you. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a much better option!
I look forward to seeing you at an SBN event soon, and asking for YOUR card!