This week’s Networking Tip will focus on preparation, this is the only piece of the puzzle that you are totally in control of. It is said that success is when preparation meets opportunity. At a networking event, you have the opportunity to meet many people, but you need the proper tool. The one and only tool you need to bring to a networking event is your business card, and bring plenty of them. Your business card is simply your tool to help you gather business cards from your new contacts. First let’s address what your business card should have on it. This may seem elementary to most, but this is very necessary to review. Your business card should be plain and simple with your Name, Business Name, Phone Numbers (including fax and cell), and your email address. This information should be no smaller than 10 point type so it’s easy to read with no picture in the background. The back of your card should have enough blank space to write a short note, as to remind someone of your conversation. Remember, networking is about creating relationships, not making the sale of a product or service you provide. The only sale that will be made, if done correctly, is selling yourself. That’s why the business card is the only tool you use, no brochures, no fliers and no folders.
Your Pocket File.
Now that you have arrived to your event, you want to make sure that your personal business cards do not get mixed with the new business cards you collect. To do that, I keep my own cards in a separate pocket that is easily accessible to reach into so giving my card is swift and easy, almost like a quick draw. The cards I collect are always kept in my back pocket. This ensures that I will not accidently give away someone else’s card, and I am not fumbling through a stack while trying to get out my own card.
Getting people to give you their card without even asking for one is real simple when you use your tools properly. Simply walk over to someone, extend your hand to shake, during the handshake introduce yourself, and when done immediately draw your card to give your new contact. This is where the law of reciprocity kicks in and they give you their card in return. Once your cards are exchanged, using their name be the 1st to ask, “So, what do you do John/Mary?” This is where you just let them speak and the magic begins to happen. Note, If they didn’t give you their card once you handed yours, just ask, “So, John/Mary, do you have a card?” Once the finish speaking, then give them your introduction (This will be covered in Tip #3 The Elevator Pitch, Selling Yourself ). Before you leave them, let them know that you would like to get together over coffee of lunch to see how you can help each other build your businesses. Immediately after leaving them, turn their card to the back and write a short note about something they said that sticks out. This is what you will use when you call them during the follow up. (This will be covered in Tip #4 The Fortune Is In The Follow-Up)
Next Week’s Tip #3 The Elevator Pitch, Selling Yourself
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Now you can Network to build your NetWealth
Yours in Success,