At Premium Collections we do a lot of networking to get our message across to potential clients or more importantly the clients of the contacts we are meeting at the events. We also use it to increase those all-important connections and potential suppliers.
Many people think if you are going to a networking event you are just going to be sold to and in some cases you will, but the best networkers will want to know more about you to establish a relationship with the eventual aim of doing business with each other or referring you to others.
There are numerous networking events, and these days new ones seem to be popping up all the time. We are members of a few groups and do receive business from all though we give out a lot of advice for free for the benefits of members which has been paid back in work passed back to ourselves.
We asked a few years ago to join David Bellin’s SUBS as a partner in Altrincham our hometown. It was a reasonable cost and allowed us to showcase our services to the attendees and give advice to a number of businesses which was for us it was important to give something back. That has resulted though in us working with a large firm of solicitors helping their clients with their debt recovery.
We are also members of The Business Network South Manchester and The British and Irish Trade Alliance two different organisations, but both allow us to mix with the owners and directors of larger businesses who would be our clientele.
However, none of these meetings would be worthless if we did not follow up! You can go to as many lunches, dinners and breakfasts as you can fit in but if you don’t follow up and carry out those one to ones then the meetings have probably been wasted.
Remember networking is a two-way street not only are you there to promote your business you are there to learn about the other person and their company. If you are a member of BNI you will know their motto is “Givers Gain” and that is true in all forms of networking the more you refer other people the more you will be known for being a great networker and people will refer to you.
Even if it is a Federation of Small Businesses on line event or your local fact to face event firstly turn up as Will Kintish says “If you don’t go you will never know” as well as it being bad form to book on and not turn up. Secondly, make as many connections as possible and follow up with an email and an opportunity to meet either for a coffee or virtually via Zoom or Teams.
As one of The Business Network members Katy Branagan always says “The Fortune Is In The Follow UP”