The 10 Mistakes We Make At Networking Events
and How To Avoid Them
Mac Cassity, Guest Author
Question: What is the cheapest most effective way to build your business?
Answer: Get more referrals!
Question: How do I get referrals?
Answer: NETWORKING! Well... networking the RIGHT way that is.
You see, you can meet 100 people per month at networking events and still get no business. What you do and say at events and mixers is
incredibly important. Most folks think if you go to enough events and pass out enough business cards you'll start to get that phone ringing.
That's not always true. Even if you DO get some business that way, you still have to do what is necessary to build and cultivate that relationship
so they continue to do business with you and/or send you more referrals.
Below, I have created a list of the top 10 mistakes I see people make over and over again at networking events. We see this stuff all the time,
and sometimes we don't slow down enough to realize that occasionally, WE are the culprits. I'll bet most have you have done at least one of the
things listed below at some point in your business career. A lot of you make be making these mistakes RIGHT NOW... that is where I want to help.
I have devoted my life to helping others get better at referral marketing, and this article is just one resource in that journey.
This article is actually a snapshot of a larger ebook that I created along with my business partner Glenn Garnes. We offer that ebook for free
as well because we truly believe in giving value to those we come in contact with. Anyways, please read through this list carefully. Identify these
mistakes when you see them, and do your best to correct your mistakes. The better you get at referral marketing, the more control you will have over
your income and your eventual success.
We misunderstand the purpose of networking - Bottom line? If you are at an event to sell your services, do
everyone a favor and leave. People that see others as dollars signs are VERY easy to spot. You might have thought this was your purpose, but it's not.
You are there to build and cultivate referral relationships. Remember the term REFERRAL MARKETING? Well, what would you rather have, 100 sales, or
100 people referring you business on a regular basis?
We only hang out with the people we already know - This is a tough one, but here's the deal. You are there to
build your business, not talk with people you already know. Tell them nicely that you will go meet some new people and try to introduce them. Have
them do the same. That is leverage. You guys can catch up as friends later, you are there to build NEW relationships.
We talk too much about ourselves - This is a BIG no no, but we see it ALL the time! People coming up to you,
ramming their business card down your throat, telling you how their product or service is the best. I'll bet you have even seen someone at an event
and thought to yourself "oh no, here comes so and so..." and the reason why you thought that is because of this mistake.
Your best bet is to ask questions. Put the focus on THEM. Let them talk, and you will have your chance... believe me. Even if you have to schedule a follow up one on one
to talk about what it is YOU do, they will be happy to give you the time of day based on the fact that you gave all your attention to them first.
We don't describe what we do in a way that is meaningful to others - Ok, you may be an insurance agent,
but...well, that's boring! How about: "I speak with individuals and families and learn more about their situations so that I may be able to help
them protect their personal and financial assets." Think about what you do. Think about how you can tell others in a way that will make them
listen and hear more...it is a skill, but if you take the time, you will reap the benefits.
We don't have an effective follow up system - You went to the event, you met a bunch of people, you got a
ton of business cards...now what? You can let them sit on your desk, or even put them in a drawer, but what the heck does that do? It happens, you
know it does. The key is following up with folks in a meaningful way.
This DOES NOT mean try to sell them now that you have their card. It does not
mean put them on an email blast. It means touch base, tell them you enjoyed speaking with them, and set up an appt to have a one on one where you can
find out even MORE about their business and how you may be of service.
We don't meet the host/center of influence - You are standing in a room full of about 100 people. Someone was
responsible for getting them all there. Think you should meet them? The answer is YES. The people responsible for putting on successful mixers and
events usually have a pretty good contact list. Meet them EVERYTIME you can. Get to know them, and watch your contacts dramatically increase.
We are not good matchmakers - This mistake can be corrected very simply. Meet people and introduce them to
folks who you think might make good referral partners. If you spend your time doing this, you will avoid mistake number 7 and just may be the hit
of the event.
We show up just to be seen - We have all heard this one as well, "I am just going to make an appearance."
Do me and everyone else a favor... don't bother. If you can't attend an event long enough to make a meaningful impact on others, just don't go. Running
in and running out because you are too busy is, well, one of the reasons you are too busy. Choose an event, schedule it, and attend the whole event.
We don't ask the right questions - When meeting someone at an event, you usually only have a few minutes to
make an impression. Asking someone about the weather, or if they have ever been there before is not going to do the trick. How about finding out
what they do? What got them into that line of work? What do they like most about what they do?
And the best question you can ask at a networking
event (I borrow this from referral and relationship marketing expert Bob Burg "How Do I know if someone I am speaking with is a good referral for
you?" Try this one... you will be amazed at the results.
We don't attend enough networking events - Now that you know some of the things you shouldn't do, and in
turn some of the things you SHOULD do, go practice! Staying at home or in your office will not build your business like networking will. Choose some
events, put them on your schedule and attend. If you only attend 2 or 3 events a year, you won't reap the benefits. Try hitting 2 or 3 a month and
you will really kick your referral marketing into high gear.
I hope identifying these mistakes and what you SHOULD do has been helpful to you. My goal is to work with and help as many business professionals
find success with referral marketing as I can. I wish all of you success with your referral marketing efforts and remember these 10 mistakes we make
at networking events... because now you can AVOID them.
Copyright © - Mac Cassity - Reprinted with permission. Mac Cassity is Vice President of Perfect Networker and Referral University. The goal of these
two organizations is to help business owners and professionals dramatically increase the number of qualified referrals they receive by helping
them build and nurture productive and quality referral relationships. Mac is committed to helping you improve your referral marketing success.
Check out www.TipsOnSuccess.com for a free interview Mac and his business partner
Glenn Garnes did with referral marketing expert Bob Burg.
Call us at 800-306-6488, with any questions aboutthe interview or The Referral UniversityMastery Program, or email us at: Info@ReferralUniversity.com.
Article Source: www.EzineArticles.com.
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If you would like to talk
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private coaching session by telephone. Go to Networking Coaching
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