So, you just walk into a crowded networking event. You know that there are valuable connections in the room, but you don’t know exactly who they are or how they will exactly bring you value. Where do you start? What do you tell them? What do you ask them? So many questions running through your head!
This scenario works the same for seasoned networkers just as much as rookies. The difference is the seasoned person has figured out how to quickly understand what the other person is looking for, represent who they are, and what they are looking for. Being confident with talk tracks for those 3 questions will change the way you work a room at an event, get past the gatekeeper, and present in front of decision makers.
There are a lot of different ways to approach this topic of getting the answers quickly, but the first thing you need to do is determine the goal of the event. Is it to get meetings? Referral partners? Introduction to your newly determined target market?
Once you have that determined, it’s easier to know if you should use a Value Proposition or an Elevator Speech.
Are the people in the room potential clients? Value Proposition
Are the people in the room potential referral partners? Elevator Speech
If you want to make a difference in how successful you are with networking, make sure you have a deep understanding of the specific problems your target market is having! This helps them relate to you. It helps them feel confident that you are a knowledgeable point of contact on the topic. It helps them make a quick decision on whether or not you can bring them value. All of this leads to your goal of gaining the right types of clients.
This is where you teach someone what you do, why you do it, and why you should be the preferred choice as a referral partner for your specific products or services. The goal here is getting to the network and connection list of the person in front of you. Don’t make it “salesy”. Ideally, this person is not a potential client and you can speak to them with their guard down as you are just informing them of what you do and why they should be referring you.
THIS IS THE BIGGEST PART OF NETWORKING THAT EVERYONE MISSES!!!!!
The first 1/2 to 3/4s of the conversation needs to be about the other person. Ask great questions to show you are interested in bringing them value and a better understanding of how to refer them first. Make sure you lead with giving value every single time!
If you look around the room at a networking event, it’ll be obvious who is there to get value and who is there to give value.
Don’t be that guy or gal.
Use some of the below questions to break the ice and lead to delivering them value (Pro Tip… Be prepared to answer all of these questions yourself):
What is the best thing that has happened in your business this week?
What are you most excited about this year?
What is one of your most intimidating goals?
What is the best connection or referral partner for you?
Who do I need to introduce you to?
Then, and only then, have you earned the right to ask for something from them. People are way more open to help after you have given them a chance to talk about themselves for a while.
Overall, just get out there and do it. It’s not comfortable for anyone, but it is a game changer in building powerful relationships that lead to tremendous value!
This is a portion of the workshop I am putting together! It should be ready to go by 3rdQtr. If you want updates on it or would be interested in participating, please shoot me an email. Mike@WinRateConsulting.com
Helping contractors grow through sales process and system improvements.