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Posts Tagged ‘event planning’

Networking: The Conversation Just Started

If you are a current (or aspiring) business owner or self-employed by any means, you already know you can only eat if you make sales. With that being said, what are you doing to keep yourself fed? When you’re out attending events, traveling and otherwise  “networking”, what do you do when you get home?

Networking is only useful if you FOLLOW UP to build the relationship and actually make a sale/gain a referral/gain a resource to grow your business. Thus we have today’s quick tip: don’t waste time networking if you’re not going to follow-up on the contacts you make. Attending networking events costs money, time and resources, so why not take the initiative to follow-up with interesting people you meet? Note: do not become a spammy salesperson. You can plan to meet for coffee (or a bagel, cocktails, you get the point) and get to know a person. You might be surprised by what you have in common or what you can learn.  Remember, you already have a baseline for a conversation if you attended the same event. You have a wealth of free social media tools at your disposal to stay in touch with your new contacts, so there is really no reason why you can’t build a relationship with people as you go about developing your business and your network of resources.

If you don’t want to do any follow-up, and you just want to sit around complaining about the status of your business, you might as well do something else better with your time and money, like skimming through the yellow pages for contacts…

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

A Business Card Can Be Your Friend

Most of us still use business cards on a regular basis to communicate who we are, what we do, etc. Yet so many seemingly professional people do not adhere to basic business card rules. Thus my cheat sheet on business card essentials. I didn’t think I needed to spell these out, but I’m often taken aback by how many times I meet a business owner that either runs out of business cards or doesn’t have pertinent information listed on the card. Tsk tsk… 

5 Business Card Essentials

 

  1. Make sure you have business cards with your current contact information on you at all times. You can’t predict when a business opportunity will strike.

  2. It’s 2011, please list at least one social media site you’re using.

  3. If you’re networking it’s usually for business purposes, right? Please put your company name, website and/or blog information on the card.

  4. Has your contact information recently changed, and you haven’t had a chance to order new cards? NO EXCUSE! I’m not letting you off the hook that easily. You can go to an office supply store and print your own cards, or go to a local print shop and order a small print run in the meantime. Scribbling a new phone number is a big no-no.

  5. Have you been out meeting and networking like crazy all day and ran out of cards? This is understandable, but stay prepared. Have a .vcf card already created in your phone so you can immediately email your contact information to the person you’re talking to.

Bonus Tip: Use the backs of exchanged business cards to take notes on conversations you’d like to remember – what you talked about with a person, what they wore, additional info not listed on the card, etc. You don’t have to rely on your memory when you need to follow-up with 40 people, just use the card for hints. You sound far more interested in building a relationship if you can refer to a previous conversation when you’re trying to connect via phone, email or social media. I do this faithfully and it works!

Ciao,
Miss Kemya

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