We all know that word-of-mouth advertising is one of the cheapest and most effective types of advertising that you and your company can get. In order to make this happen, you need to get out of your office and network with people at your local Chamber of Commerce, industry association, or a business card exchange event.
When you are networking, you are not selling.
When you are at a networking event, try not to focus on selling to everyone. Look at it as an opportunity to be a teacher, a center of influence and a fountain of knowledge for buying what you are selling. By making a few changes to your approach. You can become a center of influence in any industry and, in effect, generate a considerable amount of word-of-mouth advertising.
Go into a networking event to do just that...network.
One of the biggest mistakes most people make when they network is trying to sell to someone. This is the LAST thing you should do. Do not talk about how great you are or why someone should buy from you. Instead, have a general one or two sentence overview of what you do and the type of people you work well with. Also, make sure to mention how much you enjoy your job and you will soon find that people will begin to ask you more about what you do.
If they like and trust you, you will have a better chance of making a sale.
Networking is one of the best ways for increasing your field of influence to help promote what you sell. Moreover, the reality of being in business is that people do business with those whom they like and trust. To facilitate this bond, you should help other people get what they want.
Take an interest in other people
Experts have proven that people like those who are interested in them. One of the fastest ways of getting people to talk is to ask them questions about what they do. So, what type of questions should you ask someone? Here is a list of a few questions you should ask when networking.
- What is your name?
- What line of work are you in?
- Do you own the company?
- Where are you located?
- What made you start your own company (ask if they are the owner), or how long have you been working for this company?
- I know a lot of people here. What type of person would be a good prospect that I could introduce you to?
- Ask everyone for a business card and for their permission to contact them.
By asking these questions at your next networking event, you will quickly get to know people and learn what they do.