On today’s Southeast Texas Networking Tips we share some observations from the BNI Southeast Texas Networkers.
- Bring your networking tools – phone, calendar, name badge, business cards, and pen.
- Act like a host and hostess. Arrive early and stay late. Look for opportunities to help. Not only will you grow your relationship with the event organizer, but pitching in is a great way to combat nervous energy and shyness.
- Have a networking goal for each event: “I want to meet two commercial bankers.” “I am going to set a coffee appointment with a general contractor”. “I am going to get contact information for three doctor’s offices”. Start with achievable Southeast Texas networking goals – meeting four people an hour is pretty realistic.
- Go to Southeast Texas networking events with a group. Invite two or three people from work, friends from the Chamber, or someone you met through a BBB event. Divide into groups of 2 or 4 when you get to the event. Help each other meet people and circulate throughout the event so you can meet everyone.
- Position yourself for success. When you’re talking to people, try to be conscious of standing in an “open” posture where others can join the group. If you see someone hovering on the edge of your group, invite them in and introduce them to someone you know in the group.
- You are not here to sell – you’re here to begin and grow relationships. When asked describe your product or service in 1-2 sentences. “I publish targeted Southeast Texas magazines like The Southeast Texas Family Magazine and Southeast Texas Commercial Real Estate. I’d love to hear more about what you do.” Listening helps you keep from trying to sell and is the single biggest thing you can do to start a favorable networking relationship.
- Listen closely and ask questions. “How did you get into that business?” “What kinds of activities do you enjoy away from the office?”
- Exchange business cards. Ask for theirs. If they don’t ask for yours, they probably don’t really want it – and that is okay. Talk with them at the next Southeast Texas networking event – and the next. As they get to know you, they are more likely to want to do business with you. One day they will ask you for yours.
- Your goal is to spend no more than ten minutes with each person you meet at a Beaumont networking event. You will want to have time with other potential networking partners, so you will need to keep moving.
- DO follow up after the event. It is okay to schedule a follow up meeting after the event or to wait a day or two and request a meeting at a time convenient for your new Southeast Texas networking partner.
A big SETX Advertising thank-you to Mark Taylor with BNI Houston East for sharing these Southeast Texas networking tips.
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We hope you enjoyed today’s Southeast Texas Networking Tips.
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