The Value of Business Networking
Networking is the primary marketing tool for small to medium sized businesses. It promotes word-of-mouth marketing which will be the source of most of your leads. As a business owner you should network as much as possible, and also encourage your employees to always be aware of those networking opportunities too. Always dress appropriately for the event. For some events jeans and a shirt might be okay, but for others, a tie and jacket is more appropriate. Carry plenty of business cards. The worse thing is to have a great conversation with someone and then not have a business card to hand them. Practice what you are going to say at the event. I’m a big believer in having an elevator speech that you can deliver with ease. You don’t want to be fumbling around with trying to explain what you do.
Learn to look people in the eyes. You will find they are more engaged in what you are saying. Keep your initial encounters short and save a longer conversation for a follow-up meeting. If you are hitting it off with someone, it’s much easier to suggest getting together at a later time.