Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #12 - Have a System (and work it!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Networking Event Tip #12 - Have a System (and work it!)

It is possible to go to a lot of business networking events, have a great time, get to know people, and yet leave a lot on the table. In other words, you show up and meet people and build relationships, but you don't really get the most from your time.

The way to maximize benefits from attending business networking events is to have a system. And maybe we should make that a SYSTEM, an widely used acronym that stands for Save Your Self Time Energy and Money.

So what would a SYSTEM look like for business networking, a series of events where you show up and be yourself, having a good time talking with and (hopefully mostly) listening to people?

The short cheap answer is you'll have to work out a SYSTEM for yourself, but here are some elements to consider.
  • Already have a datebase or contact manager program in use on your computer. (We use the contact manager function in SendOutCards
  • Be sure you get business cards and/or contact info from those people with whom you really want to follow up in the next few days.
  • Either take notes immediately after or within a day at most about each person on your follow up list, focusing on how you can help them and what you'll do to follow up.
  • Decide exactly how you'll follow up (e-mail, phone call, coffee meeting, office appointment, hand written note, greeting card). Once again, we use SendOutCards to send a personal greeting card the night of or day after an event. If this means a series of e-mails, cards, and calls, set it up to happen - enter the person in your calender or scheduling system.

And here's the biggie, the most important part of your SYSTEM - WORK IT! The greatest system in the world won't do you any good if you don't actually implement it.

  • This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion.

    If you know of a networking event in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC] that's open to visitors, drop me a note ahead of time and I'll try to post it.