All your social media efforts, blogging, and emails might not get you as far as one simple strategy: in-person networking. By building relationships with people in real time, you can pave the way for future sales success.
Still, few people actually master the art of smart networking. I’ve gleaned a few helpful strategies over my years of attending networking events to help you.
Many events have an RSVP list available online, such as through Meetup.com or Eventbrite. This makes it easy for you to see who’s attending an upcoming event and do a little investigating on them. Connect with people you want to get to know on LinkedIn and other social platforms. If, after reviewing their profiles you find you have something in common with some of the other attendees (or they sound like your perfect customer), memorize their faces and make it a point to seek them out at the event. You’ll be able to say “I connected with you on LinkedIn” as your icebreaker.
Set a Goal
You’re not going to the event just to hang out. Nor are you going to cash in on $100k in sales. Find a goal somewhere in between, such as “to meet 5 people that fit my target demographic” or “to find a mentor.”
Having a goal for your event will make it easier for you to stay focused. If you end up talking with other people in your industry (and they’re not your ideal customers), then remembering your goal can nudge you to venture out to meet other kinds of people.