I have finally written my top Tips on where to network. I gave a presentation to OICVA on how to Network and this is my follow up on where to put those skills onto action.
The Golden Rule
Go where your customers or prospects are. Think about their business, there likes and dislikes.
Tip Number One – Your local Chamber of Commerce events. Become a member and offer to help them – showing off your organisational skills (do not let it get in the way of earning money or looking after your clients).
Tip Number Two – Networking clubs for example BNI, Athena or any breakfast club you can find. Again in time get on the committee. Demonstrate your skills.
Tip Number Three – Join a trade or professional association – this is where you will learn about you competition and more about your trade.
Tip Number Four – Trade shows your best customers attend or exhibit at. Don’t be nervous get to the show and meet people.
Tip Number Five – Exhibit at a trade show yourself. This does involve some financial outlay, but you will be seen as an expert and will get asked to provide advice there and then. Make sure you get peoples names, business cards or some form of contact details. Then action them when you are back in the office.
Tip Number Six – Listen to what is going on around you. If you overhear someone is having problems in their office or could do with some additional help, don’t be shy give them your card. At the same time, don’t hang around and give them a 20 minute presentation about what you do. Give them your card say I just over heard you say… I specialise in… and leave it at that.
Tip Number Seven – Join a voluntary group or association. You would be surprised at how quickly the members know what you do and how they could use your skills. Again, ensure that you are not spending to much time giving your services away free.
Tip Number Eight – Create your own Networking event. This doesn’t have to be a big event. Ask 1 or 2 prospects and 1 or 2 clients that you know could work together.
Tip Number Nine – Join a sports club, I’m sure you have heard of the deals on the golf course. Why shouldn’t that be you. No reason at all.
Tip Number Ten – Sponsor an event. This doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. For example in 2006 I provided some high visible jackets with my company name on the back. One financial outlay. Since then a number if voluntary group in my town ask to borrow my jackets.