I've heard some bizarre statements in my business experience, so far. But claims about not ‘needing' to attend networking events or being hell-bent on remaining ‘too busy' to pop into even one a month, tend to grate on me the most.
Many professionals have built their businesses through networking alone; and I can personally back this claim up, with first-hand experience.
So, whether you're an accountant, a painter, a start-up, or a corporate Casanova- read on to find out why you need to roll up your sleeves, and make a statement at more networking events.
4 years, blood sweat & tears but we did it!
When we started The Business Networking Show in 2014, with the dreams of becoming the UKs biggest networking event, we were laughed at. We heard it all. "Are you mad?", "You can't do that!", "It'll never work" etc etc.
But we've just had the last laugh. We've hit over 1000 pre-registered attendees to #TBNS2017, with another 15 days to go!
Over 1000 pre-registered!
One of the reasons you're in business is to make money. Leads and enquiries may well turn into paying customers, so you ought to be hell-bent on following up with them all, right?
And if you're not doing this, then what mindless excuse are you giving to people (or worse, yourself) to make up for it?
A point that even I've been known to dismiss sometimes: If people are willing to engage with you, and have happily taken your business card from you at a networking event, then it point-blank tells you that they are ready (practically, waiting!) to develop a business relationship.
All my past advice about successful networking means nothing if you fail to ‘follow up' after an event. If you're unsure of how to do this without seeming like a needy stalker then read on, my 3 basic pointers will help.
Whether you are exhibiting or just thinking of visiting The Business Networking Show 2017 it is worth thinking about why you are there. What do you want to sell, promote or communicate and to whom?
So in a few weeks it's The Business Networking Show. There will be hundreds of networkers from all over the UK coming to Wolverhampton for one day only. They will want to grow their business and meet likeminded business owners in the hope of building relationships and ultimately generating more work.
I have been to the past three shows and each one was fantastic. Over the years I have met some great people who have become good friends. I have been given countless referrals and more importantly I have left motivated and fired up. You see running a business is a lonely experience. Being able to go somewhere and be around other people in the same position as you is invaluable - it keeps you sane.
‘Does this Suit me?': So, What Should You Wear at a Business Networking Event?
After walking out of a career in seedy pubs and late-night bars, the idea of self-employment and getting to wear a suit every day, got my adrenaline pumping even more than a tandem skydive.
I set up Neely There with an A4 folder of ideas and two blazers to my name; thinking that this (along with a pair of shiny high heels), was going to define me as a professional.
I was wrong.
Although dressing ‘007 style' fits other business owners to a T, I quickly discovered that it suppressed my personality and creative streak.
Heads up: I'm not going to go on about how you shouldn't wear a 3-piece to business networking events; but I will badger on about finding a style that you're comfortable in.