So what’s the worst thing about prospecting for new business at networking events? Is it:
- The way your feet feel after two hours on parquet floors?
- Eating those snacks that look like little hot dogs but taste like something far more sinister?
- Spending twenty minutes with your new best friend, learning all about the history of intermolecular field theory?
- Or the fact that you’ve never gotten business out of events like these?
I don’t know about you, but I might be willing to put up with sore feet, mystery meat and boring conversation if it actually resulted in some sales. But you know what happens at most networking events: You meet a bunch of people who can’t help you. If you’re lucky, you also meet a few who might be able to lead you to prospects. You swap cards with the keepers and promise to follow up. But then you get back to the office, get busy … and it all just peters out.
Brynne Tillman – one of our Distinguished Thought Leaders – knows a better way to approach networking events: a high-efficiency method that makes the most of your time and practically guarantees you’ll end up with solid, actionable sales leads.
Rather than making promises that will likely fall through, take the stack of business cards and go to Linkedin. Take a look at how many connections your new acquaintances have, determine which people have the best chance of helping you find new sales leads, and invite those people to connect with you. Once you’ve connected, you have the opportunity to look through your new contact’s connections, and ask your new contact to introduce you to people who might generate sales for you.
With this method, you’ll spend less time cooling your heels, hovering around the snack tray and engaging in dead-end conversations. Instead, you’ll spend more time with folks who can steer you to potential buyers. And you’ll make it easier for these newfound networking buddies to help you out (and vice versa) after the event.
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