Save Money and NetworkBy joanne | 3rd February | Marketing Ideas, Marketing Skills, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Training
Networking can be a really useful and cost-effective marketing technique, providing you stick to the golden marketing rule of ‘consistency’. You need to spend time building relationships and attend events with realistic expectations.
We’ve been networking for over six years and run our own networking event. Our top tips for making sure you get the most from your networking activities are:
- Attend plenty of groups to start with and see which ones you like and which ones contain people you may be able to work with
- Look beyond the members – you are trying to find out who they work with, not just what they do. Could they open doors for you?
- Decide on maybe two or three groups to join – maybe one social group and one focused business network such as BNI (Business Network International)
- Attend regular meetings – if you aren’t there, you can’t get to know people – and they can’t get to know you
- Offer to help people. The more help you can be to others, the more likely they will want to help you in return
- Learn an elevator pitch, so you can present your business well
- Be specific about the kind of companies you’re looking for, to help people help you
- Set yourself some goals, so you can measure your return on investment
- Be realistic about what you can expect from the group – people aren’t likely to pass you business until they know you. (Networking isn’t a get-rich quick scheme.)
- Under no circumstances sell to the people in the room – that will destroy any credibility you may have and only serves to upset seasoned networkers
Networking is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing there is, but it takes time. Over the years, we’ve seen many companies try networking and bemoan the fact it doesn’t work. But, like everything else, it’s something you have to stick at and it’s a skill you have to learn. Just because you run a business, or work in sales / marketing, doesn’t mean you’re any good at networking, so get yourself on a course and put your learning into practice.