Monday, June 11, 2007

Opportunities to Network

As I attended my younger cousin's graduation party this last weekend I was reminded of how important it is to always bring business cards, marketing brochures, samples etc. You never know who you will meet, even at a family event. Fortunately for me I did bring my business information and was able to make a couple of really good connections.

I feel this topic deserves a little bit of attention. Here are some strategies for making the most out of any event - remember everywhere you go there is an opportunity to network and build new relationships.

Always remember who you are and what you have to offer.

When you work for yourself you always should be conscious of who your ideal client is. If you are conscious of this when you are at social events then you will easily find opportunities to offer your services to those who you meet without being inappropriate. Some of the best business relationships are those that are developed in social situations.

Carry your business cards at ALL times.

Often times when attending social events we assume that we don't need to bring our business cards. Again, social events can be the best opportunities for you - AND if you are in business for yourself business cards should be on you at ALL times!

Be inquisitive.

The best way to determine is someone you meet can benefit from your services is to ask lots of questions. Rule of thumb is Who, What, Where, When and How - Avoid questions that require a yes or no response. Using open ended questions engages conversation by requiring an in-depth response. Using these types of questions allows you to get a better sense of who the person is and determine what their needs might be.

Examples of open-ended questions:

How do you know _____?
What do you do for a living?
What do you love about your job?
Where do you find you are most challenged?
What are you passionate about?
What does your husband/wife/SO do for a living?
What's your favorite way to relax?
Who is your ideal client?
If you could do anything, What would it be?

Ask to follow up.

When you do establish interest and hand out your contact information ask for theirs in return with permission to follow-up to continue your current disscussion. Then bring the subject back to social topics and enjoy!

With all of the graduations, weddings and family reunions you are sure to build new relationships. Go forward with intention and have fun!

Until next time...

1 comment:

Betsy said...

Suzy, you've done it again! What a GREAT Blog. It's a great reminder that we are our best source of advertisement...we always have to be prepared!!