Image a situation whereby everyone in your firm was excellent at networking and were actually capable of connecting with prospects and clients, engaging them and showcasing what your firm does in a compelling way, it would bring a lot of clients to your business and help your firm grow, this is why everyone in your firm needs to have the right tools so that they can be able to network well. Even with the advancement of technology the ability to physically connect with someone and have an engaging conversation is still a very relevant skill because making connections and building relationships is one of the most important skills that help companies grow organically.
Sadly, not a lot of people have such skills, this is mostly due to the fact that staffs have little or no desire to network or some have the potential but this potential has not fully tapped into. The truth, however, is that everyone is capable of networking in a way that is comfortable and natural to them so if you need help coming up with more meaningful conversations with new people and potential clients, you can apply the following three strategies.
Have a One-Liner:
At events, conversations usually start with, “what do you do?” more often than not our response to this question is usually a boring answer like, “I’m an executive at *** firm” or “I work at *** firm.” Once that’s done we begin to scan the place looking for someone else to talk to and just like that a potential client is gone. But why does this happen? It is because, as humans, we always look out for people who can help us survive and thrive. If the other person doesn’t see you as someone who can help them survive and thrive, they quickly lose interest but having a one-liner that allows you to tell others what you do in a compelling way helps you get people interested in whatever it is you want to say. This one-liner should typically consist of three parts:
For example, let’s say you’re an executive at *** firm and you want to answer the “what do you do?” question, you can say something like
“Do you know how difficult it is these days for small businesses to keep up with their accounting and bookkeeping? My firm offers an all-in-one solution that takes care of accounting and bookkeeping needs, giving small business owners the much needed time to focus on serving their clients and growing their organization.”
A great networker is someone who can get others to talk about themselves, and the best way to get people talking is by asking questions. The best framework for asking good questions while uncovering business opportunities is by asking questions that fall into one of the following categories:
Some surface questions can include questions like “What are some of the biggest opportunities in your business at the moment?”
Business questions can include questions like “How critical are these opportunities to the success of your business? And what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?”
Personal questions can then include “What would it mean for you if your business found success in this area?
When it comes to asking questions, the main point is to start with the surface questions first and then work your way down to the business questions before finally asking personal questions.
After you’ve had meaningful conversations with several people at a networking event, it is important they receive a follow up from you. In addition to the “it was nice meeting” pleasantries of a general follow up, aim to provide a “value add” of some kind to them. It could be something as small as sending a link to an article concerning something you’ve discussed, a video of a presentation, or even a book. Doing things like that helps show whoever it is that you are someone that can help them survive and thrive.