Every Event Is A Networking Event

My husband and I have this running joke.
I always carry my business cards with me in my purse. He says that I’m ready to do business at any time, even at the grocery store. I laugh at him but we both know it’s the truth. I’m always prepared. To me, anywhere I go, any event I attend, there can be a networking opportunity.

This has proven to be true at the office supply store. There were several opportunities when I met people getting copies made or just shopping for office supplies. Makes sense since my business is B2B, that the office supply store would be a perfect place for me to hang out. Thankfully, I’m armed with these tools:

Business Cards
I always carry business cards with me. I have a business card holder that holds about 10 cards and I have 40 other business cards wrapped in a rubber band in my purse. If I’m out at a networking event or just going to the store, I’m prepared.

Elevator Speech/60 Second Presentation
Being a BNI (Business Networking International) member has benefited me greatly. Every week, we go around the room with our 60 second presentation. Since I practice it three times a week for our meeting, I’m always ready to tell someone about my business in a clear, concise manner.

Listening Skills
Being a networker means that I am armed and ready with my listening skills. Listening is imperative to networking. It helps me determine if the person I’m talking to is my target client or if I can assist them with who they are looking for: a collaborator, potential client, or mentor.

Here are some more ideas for on-the-spot networking:
3 Tips on How To Break the Ice
Yes, You NEED to Network

What do you do when you run into someone who is in need for your products or services? Leave a suggestion in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. Good post, Kristen. It’s so important to have that “elevator” speech down. I’ve changed mine so many times to get it just right and natural so it just rolls off the tongue. My coach has a twist on business cards. When she goes to a networking event, she doesn’t take any cards. Instead, she asks the person for their card and then does the follow-up herself. (How many people call you from your card?) Anyway, just another way to do it. Thanks for your post.

    • That’s great business card etiquette, asking the person for their card! Great for her! I’ll have to try that but I feel incomplete when I don’t have my business cards with me. 🙂

  2. It sounds like you are very well prepared to share information about your business. I think listening is an important part of networking. You can find out what the customer wants and needs by listening.
    I think Facebook and Twitter are great places for networking. You can build relationships and future customers by commenting and tweeting.

  3. An old boy scout motto that I love is “Be prepared”. Im certainly prepared with the business cards and listening skills, but just getting used to describing what I do in a way that doesnt sound like a sales speil to those listening. I have just revamped my business cards and now have a photo on them. So many times I have business cards and cant recall the person, a photo jolts my memory…ah I remember them.

    Being a member of Business Networking International has obviously been great for you to reinforce your ‘elevator speech’ so you know it inside out and back to front.

    Enjoyed your tips Kristen, thanks for sharing.

  4. Awesome tips!
    When you love what you do it is so easy and natural to connect with people everywhere.

    I too am in BNI and love it. The weekly meeting really help you stay focused on your business!!

    And you are SO Right about the listening!! I have to remind myself a lot to slow down and listen to the other person!

    • LOL! I know what you mean. BNI does put some pressure on you to stay focused but it’s been amazing with knowing my 60 second presentation with confidence and consistency.

  5. Great points Kristen. I think that last point is especially important. If we don’t use our listening skills when we are networking we could be missing out on some very important info AND our network marketing efforts are likely to be less effective!

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