Friday, 16 March 2012

Networking to generate business 17 Point Checcklist

" The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about!" - So the playwright Oscar Wilde is reputed to have said. It is not a bad maxim for salespeople.

An increasingly popular method of  new business generation through priming the likelihood of people talking about you and your company through introductions, referrals, recommendations and word of mouth advertising is networking.
Networking provides you with an channel through which you can  publicise  yourself and your business by personal communication with as broad a selection of individuals as possible.
The more people talk about you and what you offer, the more business you are likely to pick up through referral and contacts.

Popular networking situations include:-

1.       Formal networking events organised specifically for potential buyers and sellers to meet each other e.g. lunch clubs
Gulls Networking event in City of London

2.       Business events which are organised for a different specific purpose but as a sideline provide a a networking opportunity . e.g. trade exhibitions

3.       Social, family and leisure events where some of the people you meet are potential prospects to give business or recommend you to people who they know. ( suspects) e.g. parties, sports clubs, pubs, Round Table

4.       Ad hoc  spontaneous contacts who by pure chance may be able to connect you with business opportunities e.g. near seat neighbour on a train, plan etc. ex –school friend on Friends united website.
Networking Objectives
·         To win business

·         To collect details of people who may give you business or refer to others who may give you business ( so that you can follow them up)

·         To give these people details of you, your company and your offer so they can proactively contact you.

·         To create a positive and accurate impression of what benefits people can achieve by working with you.

·         To get yourself and/or your business remembered so that you will come to mind when people come across a suitable opportunity for you.
As with so much in selling there is no such thing as luck in networking.

'Luck is where preparation meets opportunities.'

So here a simple but useful checklist for networking

Event:_____________   Date:_________

·         Timings of event ______________________________________

·         Acceptable sent?______________________________________

·         Venue_______________________________________________

·         Host Organisation_____________________________________

·         Directions and car parking details_________________________

·         What is my role?______________________________________

·         Who is the likely role?__________________________________

·         Is there a guest list?____________________________________

·         Who are my key contacts?_______________________________

·         What is their reasons attending?__________________________

·         What are my objectives?________________________________

·         Have I prepared my elevator speech?______________________

·         Will I need a “Just a minute” speech_______________________

·         Colleagues attending?__________________________________

·         Business cards in pocket/case?___________________________

·         Research –, web, Newspapers/local newspapers?______

·         Other information or actions required? ____________________

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