Networking might seem costly in terms of membership dues and meeting fees, but it can be a valuable tool for lead generation. Here are 10 tips for making the most of networking events:
1. Make sure the organization is right for you and your company.
2. Bring plenty of business cards and/or brochures as well as writing materials.
3. Make sure your personal appearance is appropriate for the gathering. Lasting impressions can be formed about your company based on your appearance.
4. Wear a personal nametag or pin with your company name and logo on it.
5. Arrive early to improve your chances of meeting everyone who attends.
6. Be sure to shake hands when introduced or when introducing yourself.
7. Don’t huddle up with coworkers or friends. It’s easier to be approached by others if you don’t appear to be engrossed in a conversation.
8. Don’t hard-sell yourself or your company. Networking meetings are meant to be social and semi-informal.
9. Remember the individuals you meet. Get their business cards and/or write their names down along with a few notes about them.
10. After the meeting, follow up with these people in a timely manner. Don’t give them the opportunity to forget you.