Most people find that networking is not a crucial element of building a business. Other people think networking is a very difficult thing or on the contrary that it’s not that hard nor that important and use it very informally. What people don’t realize is that communication is the skeleton of a business. If there is no communication in a business there will be no progress made and the business will not grow. So why does this apply to networking? Because networking is communication! Networking is the first step that you have to take in order to get that skeleton built. Networking is making new business connections to build or improve your business.
There are three crucial points to successfully network during a trade show.
- Preparing beforehand is for champions:
If you think about it, the more you prep for a big day or a big presentation the better it will turn out. I am not saying that you should spend months prepping what you are going to wear the day of the event or what you are going to do when you come up to people. What I am saying is that you should prepare and strategize before going to the event at least a week in advance. And yes, absolutely write notes, prepare a little “pitch” or even a short presentation. Over preparation can never steer you wrong. The more you prepare the better. Make bulleted notes on what you want to say to potential clients, make any external edits or improvements to your product.
Networking is the first step to pitching your product to potential clients or investors. Be prepared and don’t procrastinate! Networking is just like making new friends, connections and business partners.
It is all about clean, clear and precise content. Don’t loop over into a different conversation, keep them on track and maintain their interest in what you are saying. If they have any input be open to suggestions, take notes, create a dialogue between their suggestions and your presentation. Most importantly consider their background, their expertise and their network. Apply all of this to how you network with them.
3. Quality conversation:
The quality of the conversation is very similar to the content, yet again it is not about spending hour wracking your brain on how to do this. Just kick in your attitude and be open to new ideas, ask questions and bring fresh new ideas to the conversation. Don’t just make the conversation about you and your product you also want to be reliable and friendly. However, you do want to keep the focus of the conversation on topic, be specific. Make them interested in your product and you from the beginning to the end but don’t hijack the conversation.