Looking to grow your business in 2017? Great. Start now.
Successful executive and entrepreneurs recommend that you say yes to every invitation you receive for holiday parties, including professional and industry social events. These networking events are golden opportunities to connect with people, build relationships and strengthen your professional network.
Even holiday events you attend with friends and relatives could strengthen support among your loved ones who may be willing to provide positive word of mouth and referrals for your company.
Here’s how to make the most of this season by generating more leads for 2017:
Polish your elevator pitch. Pack extra business cards. If you know who else will be attending, research these individuals ahead of time.
You never know who you’ll meet — or who they know. Bringing a cheerful attitude will make you more likely to enjoy the events.
Relax, smile and enjoy connecting with others during this festive time of year.
‘Tis (always) the season to give value to others and build goodwill. Here’s the trick: Don’t expect anything in return, as suggested by Bob Burg and John David Mann in their business book The Go-Giver. Offer to connect people with others in your network.
Know which specific problems you solve and which dreams you fulfill for others. Also, have a specific call to action in mind (e.g. Let’s have a call next week, or sign up for my newsletter).
Ask for introductions. If you really connect with someone, arrange a follow-up meeting on the spot. That said, don’t try to sell too soon.
Even if an event is done, you’re not. Promptly follow up. Flatter others by mentioning something memorable about them. Use a card management system. Keep in touch and share relevant information that can help others.
Wrapping it all up
So don’t just get the party started — have a strategy. By using these tips, you can join in the festivities AND generate sales leads. Connecting with others allows you to expand and strengthen relationships that can help you find new clients in the new year.
What networking tips would you add?
Lisa Goller is a marketing and communications professional with over 15 years of experience serving B2B, technology and retail companies. She helps businesses tell their story through irresistible content marketing and strategic communications.