Generate New Clients by Attending Networking Events

Business network concept. Communication.Networking events aren’t just opportunities to rub elbows with other entrepreneurs. They’re also an opportunity to find new customers and clients.

Why?

Basically, if you’re selling products or services for consumers, every networking event is filled with potential customers. Entrepreneurs buy consumer products and services too. And if you sell products and services for business use? You’re still in the right place.

Here are some tips for generating new clients by attending networking events.

Have your elevator speech ready.

What’s an elevator speech? It’s basically a super-short, interesting summary of who you are and what you do. Short means about 30 seconds or less, allowing you to get the point across even if you don’t have the other person’s attention for long. Use it when you meet people for the first time. It’s an ice breaker that may lead to questions about your business. At the very least, the person on the receiving end learns who to contact when he or she needs the product or service you provide.

Give out business cards.

As you introduce yourself and strike up conversations, pass out your business cards. Sure, you have a great website, and everyone in the room has smartphones, but business cards give people a tangible way to remember you and what you have to offer after the night is over. Let’s face it. It’s hard to remember phone numbers and website addresses when you’ve only heard them once.

Don’t sell.

You’re not there to take orders and collect cash, right? You’re at a networking event to network. Go ahead and do that. If you are friendly and interesting, attendees will remember you in a positive light and be more likely to call on you when they need something. If you go around the event pitching your products and services, you’ll only turn other attendees off. It is okay, however, to insert what you do into relevant conversation. For example, if a group is discussing computer problems and you repair computers, share how you’ve handled similar problems for your clients.

Be helpful. 

Make sure attendees know you’re willing and able to help. Be willing to share information and resources or make introductions. Share insights and offer to meet up to continue conversations in the future. This makes you more memorable, which may lead to sales and referrals.

Ask for referrals and recommendations.

No one knows what you need unless you ask for it. Get to know at least a few of the event attendees, and share your goals and objectives with them. Share how referrals and recommendations can help your business, and be willing to reciprocate.

Generating new clients is an ongoing process. To increase your client base, you have to remember that potential clients are everywhere, even at networking events. With this in mind, you will always be ready to reel a new client in.

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How to Make the Best First Impression

How to Make the Best First Impression First impressions are everything when it comes to business networking. If you give others the impression that you are unapproachable, incompetent, self-centered, or disingenuous, few people will care about what you have to say and even fewer will stick around long enough to make a purchase.

Here are 5 tips for making the best first impression possible:

1. Put a smile on your face. When you’re smiling, you look exponentially more approachable and friendly than when you’re not. Make it a habit to smile often at networking events, when you’re speaking with customers and business partners, and just in general. Those individuals who struggle with shyness may find this hard to accomplish. In such a case, fake it until you make it.

As more and more people approach your smiling face, you will loosen up, and soon the smiles will come naturally.

2. Make eye contact. Nothing makes you look shiftier than avoiding eye contact. When you’re having a conversation with someone, maintain eye contact with him for at least 90 percent of the time. This accomplishes two very important things. First, it makes you seem genuine and trustworthy. Second, it shows the person you’re speaking with that you are focused and interested in what he has to say. If your eyes are darting all over the room, it looks as if you’re trying to find an escape route.

3. Exercise good posture. Slouching, while at least temporarily comfortable, just makes you appear lazy. Sitting or standing up straight, on the other hand, makes you appear confident, energetic, and ready for anything. Likewise, it says you’re alert and interested in the conversation or event.

4. Listen more than you talk.No one likes a person who drones on and on about himself, especially when his comments seem boastful. Do share details about who you are and what you do, but make listening to what others have to say, and asking thoughtful questions, a priority.

5. Use confident body language. If you don’t exhibit confidence in yourself, why should anyone have confidence in you? Use a confident stance, with your feet set wide and your shoulders squared but relaxed. Don’t look at your feet, and always give a firm handshake.

A good first impression opens the door for people to take interest in you. It gives them a reason to consider your products and services, offer to help you, or even refer others to your business. What are some other ways to make a good first impression?

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4 Must-Have Business Networking Connections

must-have business connectionsIn today’s business world, you really can’t know too many people. Every connection has the potential to help you in some way. However, some business networking relationships will show less obvious benefits, at least at first, and there are a few types of connections you really must have. Continue reading

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How to Make Helping-Out Less Time Consuming

How to Make Helping-Out Less Time ConsumingA big part of networking is helping others instead of only asking others to help you. But while you may genuinely like helping others, doing so can eat into the time you have to run your business.

So what’s a business person to do?

Here are 4 steps you can take to guard your time while also paying the help you receive from other entrepreneurs forward.

Multitask

You have to eat, right? Or maybe it’s coffee you can’t do without. Arrange to meet the person who needs your help when you’re planning a break from your own work anyway. 15 minutes at a local coffee shop may be all your peer needs. If not, turn lunch, or even dinner, into meeting time.

Gather a Group

Finding time to meet up with several people individually can prove difficult. Instead, arrange a time and place to meet with at least a few of the people who need your help at once. This way, you can help four or five of those on your list in the same amount of time you’d set aside to meet with just one. If you can’t get everyone together at a convenient time, don’t give up; proceed to tip#3.

Employ Technology

If getting together with those in need of help won’t work for you, consider using technology to bridge the physical gap. Use conference calling to share your knowledge with multiple people at once or use a video conferencing option to meet with your peers virtually.

Create a Tutorial

If a fellow entrepreneur asks a question and you think your answer may help others, go ahead and make a tutorial for it. You can create a tutorial, or even a series of tutorials, in the form of a blog post, video, or podcast. With this option, you can not only direct the person who asked the question to your tutorial, but also share it on the Internet, building your reputation as an expert on the subject.

Helping others in your business network doesn’t have to be a drain on your time. Use the above tips to make helping out work for you.

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How Vacationing Helps Your Business

Vacationing Helps Your BusinessWe’re all well versed in the importance of hard work. As we’ve heard many times, and learned firsthand, hard work pays off. However, keeping your nose to the grindstone gets hard when you’re doing it day after day, over months and even years. And entrepreneurs are known for working overtime, doing just one more thing before knocking off for the day or even working nights and weekends to fit everything in.

While this type of dedication can be admirable, there’s something to be said for knowing when to relax and unplug too. Taking a vacation can help you feel refreshed, avoid burnout, and look at your business from a new perspective. Continue reading

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How to Make the Most of Your To-Do List

CoveredTo-do lists should help us get organized, stay on track, and enjoy a sense of accomplishment when we scratch something off as completed. All too often, however, they have the opposite effect, producing anxiety when we can’t finish everything we’ve added to them. Even worse, they may encourage us to overwork if we just don’t feel comfortable ending the day without completing everything we planned. Continue reading

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Everyday Networking Tips You Can Use

business networking

Sometimes it seems that networking is something you need an appointment or a special event to do, but nothing could be further from the truth. While planned events are excellent, networking should be part of your everyday activities.

Here are some easy networking tips you can use daily: Continue reading

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Grow Your Business Network With Social Media

businessman networking with laptop

Social media provides excellent opportunities to grow your business network without leaving your office or stepping away from your computer. And one of the best things about social media is its reach.You can build a business network full of people from around the corner from your business to around the world.

Here are some tips you can use to grow your business with social media: Continue reading

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4 Reasons Business Networking Is Like Eating Potato Chips

networking is like eating popcornOf all things, would you believe business networking is a lot like eating potato chips? Don’t laugh. It’s true.  Don’t believe us? Keep reading to see the light. Continue reading

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Top Ways to Discover Networking Events in Your Area

discover networking eventsYou know networking can help your business, so you’re anxious to attend some networking events. But how do you find them? Never fear. Michigan Marketer has you covered.

Here are the top ways to find networking events in your area: Continue reading

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