Every week over 20 individuals come along to our networking group.
Why? It’s certainly not because they have nothing better to do at 7am on a cold November morning. The reality is, our members turn up every week because they know that networking works for them. They know that their fellow members have, over time, become advocates for their business, and are an extension of their sales team.
The reality is, the more people that know what you do, the more opportunities you have to reach even more people. You don’t just network with the people in the room, but you are networking with all their contacts, too.
However, one of the biggest problems many people face is being clear on what it is they do.
It’s one of the first questions anyone asks at a networking event, “So, what is it you do then?” and it should be the simplest one to answer. That said, many people aren’t clear enough, and don’t give the other parties in the conversation a clear enough idea about the problems they solve and the clients/customers they’re looking for.
It’s really easy to answer this particular question with your job title. How many times have you asked this question and heard someone say they’re an accountant, web designer, marketer, or florist? They might be very clear, and straight forward answers, but do you have a deep understanding about exactly what it is these people do?
We take it for granted that we all know what an accountant does, so no one feels the need to elaborate.
However, what about the accountant that goes the extra mile? The accountant that stops to explain what problems they solve for their clients, how they solve them, their best results and what the benefits of using their services are.
For example, an accountant who explains that yes, they are an accountant but they specialise in helping their clients predict and plan for the future through strategic planning, is more likely to stick in your mind than the one who simply gives you a job title. You’ll begin to have a better idea of who their ideal clients might be, and therefore you will be in a better position to spot opportunities for them in the future.
When you network, this is precisely what you need.
Not only are you likely to be just one member in a room of others, but you have to bear in mind that the individuals you’re networking with probably have other networking groups too. That means there’s a good chance they already know three other people who do the exact same job you do. How are you going to make sure that they think of you when they come across a potential referral, rather than one of your competitors?
Taking time to work out the best answer to the question “what do you do” is going to be time well spent when it comes to networking.
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