Networking can sometimes seem like it isn’t helping you but then all of a sudden you find out that during one of those conversations you have made am impression on someone and they remember you. Them remembering you can result in some business that you wouldn’t have got if you didn’t network.
The thing about networking is it isn’t a do it once within a group of people and then forget it. The networking that you do should be a continual part of what you do. We were recently at an event and I was watching how so many of the people just talked to the people right around them but never really made an attempt to talk to others during the breaks or at lunch. Sure the process of networking can be exhausting but it is something that you need to do.
What I noticed when we arrived at the session we were met by someone that we had met a few times and right away it was “welcome back, and it’s great to see you again.” Yes, that is a little something and that is important because a lot of the people were returning attendees to this training session but even before we said our names we were recognized.
Most training sessions or conferences give you a name tag to wear and part of the purpose of the name tag is so that you can start a conversation with someone else. As a consulting business it means that sometimes we are approached by someone at the event that wants to find out what type of consulting we do as they are looking for a consulting to assist them. Sometimes we are approached by vendors to see if we want to become resellers for them. Again we are approached because we are standing up during the breaks and at lunch and making it look as if we are willing to have that conversation with someone else. Yes, there are times during a break or lunch when checking emails are important but if a response can wait until after the event it’s a good idea to leave that email until then. The urgent email messages get returned and then its back to networking.
When you go to these events make sure that you have your business cards handy so that when you meet someone it is easy to exchange your business cards with them. What we quite often do is place a few of our business cards in the back of the name tag so that they are easy to find especially when you are away from your spot where you having more cards.
You may not see the results of the networking you do quickly but it’s important that each time you are at an event you do some networking. You never know what will come out of some networking you did even a couple of years ago.