I have been attending business to business networking events since 2009 and I have met many other network marketers at my meetings over the years. Some who totally get business networking and others who you can see just don’t get it.
In fact, when I started networking back them I wasn’t a network marketer myself, I was promoting my bookkeeping and IT business Silicon Bullet. I met a Forever Living distributor and tried their products and fell in love with them so decided to join. Then I learned about the business behind the products. It’s a slow conversion but a comfortable one, and I am proof that Business to Business networking works for a Network Marketer.
Don’t go in for the hard sell
We are often taught in Network Marketing to introduce the opportunity to everyone we meet, get names on our who do you know list, and it’s a numbers game, to get people to attend our presentations so they can then make an informed decision about if the opportunity is for them.
Business networking though is different. People do not necessarily attend networking groups to buy. Everyone is there with their own business and won’t take kindly to a hard sell, or to an invitation to a coffee or ‘one to one’ where you whip out your presentation if they have not expressed an interest in your company previously. Don’t meet people and be the one to do all the talking. You will make a far better impression if you are the one doing the listening.
How can you make Networking work for you if you are a Network Marketer?
- Go with the mindset of getting to know the people in the room. Listen to them and see how you can help them.
- Take your products along and talk about the benefits of using them, but don’t take too much, focus on one thing at a time. Have samples for people to try, taste or rub on, whatever is appropriate.
- If it’s possible, get involved with running the meetings. I now attend 4 Networking where the meetings are run by members who take on a team role. It increases your visibility in the group and enables you to show off your organisational or other skills to members. It also brings you closer to the other team members at the meetings.
- Try and do something memorable in your 40 second or one minute pitch (I quite often sing as that’s my hobby).
Be a product of your products and a shining example of your company.
- If the networking group allows it – offer to give a talk about something related to your business or an area you are knowledgeable about.
Don’t give up !
Give it time. Don’t expect quick results. I was attending a group for over 6 months before I started to get any sales.
If you follow these simple tips you are bound to make connections with people who will become your customers first and may go on to be team members later, or who might refer people to you who could join your team. When you start to make sales then always ask for recommendations within the networking community to use in your social media.
When I think back to the lady I met all those years ago who did Forever Living at my first networking group, I think at least 50% of the people in the room are now her customers or team members so I can see from example how it really works.
I joined 4 Networking in 2017 and quickly joined a team to help run the local meetings. In 2018 I was promoted to being a Regional Leader for the network, overseeing a number of meetings in my local area.
If you would like to find out more about this business networking organisation, which prides itself on it’s relaxed but still business-like meetings then do get in touch I can share the details of local meetings. You can take a look at the 4 Networking Website yourself to see where the nearest meetings are to you, they are spread all over the UK, but not yet available in other countries.