How to network at events

How to do networking:

Over 5 years I have amassed an enviable contact base for business through networking, I have become the ‘go to guy’ whenever anyone is looking for a service or a product. One of my mentors Dan told me when I started; to make sure you stick at one thing, if people know what you do and it’s easy for them to remember, then you become that guy. In fact so indented on their minds what I do I even went back to Europe for two years, and upon my return people remembered my name and exactly what I do, even better than I do.

Too many expats in Bangkok and Asia follow the money, and change their business to suit and this is the worst thing you can do if you expect a great deal of your business to come from the people you meet at networking.

I try not to set targets to meet a certain number of people at an event, this is the mercenary approach and wins few friends, we have all been at networking when some lovely little Thai lady has sadly been tasked with getting as many cards as possible by her boss, and then she can leave, marching up to you with the parrot speech and then demanding a card after exactly 21.3 seconds each, when she has the set number of business cards she can retire to her friends eat somtam and retreat to the hazy world of staring into space for hours on end, hey, don’t judge, she’s happy are you?

I try to spend the amount of time it takes to find out what someone does and how I can help them, and it’s about them, it’s not about you, if you are thinking how can I sell to this boring git, all the time, then you may as well take up eating somtam and joining the Thai lady staring into space. The law of attraction works best at networking meetings. If you then start thinking of ways how to improve things for them, offering advice, then you start to enjoy networking more and it becomes fruitful for you.

We are told to have an elevator speech, yet I feel at networking events you need a catch line more than an elevator speech, I find one line works best I say:

“I help companies drive more traffic to their website “

If the person you are speaking to, inquires no further, then you have got a result as my old Sales manager would tell me, you know exactly where you stand. This approach works well for most trades.

“I help families with the hereafter” – Undertaker

“I help homeowners save money”    – Plumber

“I entertain men and help them relax” – Top gear presenter.

The idea of this approach is to get them to ask the questions and you kind of get to know what the next questions are.

Going to networking events is like anything, there is a science to know who is approachable, and who not to barge in on. It depends how people are standing. Unbeknownst to most people their body language tells you what you need to know, for example: two people standing facing each other square on is difficult to approach but , if they are standing in a v shape they are attracting others to join. Same principle applies no matter how big the group is. Once you have made that initial approach then the evening gets easier.

You can win a lot of friends by being a network angel, as in if you are in a group and you see a lone networker wandering, alone you can ask them to join your group and ask them to introduce themselves.

Networking angels can spot newbies arrive and approach them and try to make them feel comfortable, I tell people I am an old hand at networking and would they like some help meeting people, so you can accompany them and introduce them to people who may benefit from their expertise.

If you approach the whole idea with the view of helping others, then you cannot fail to get business from networking events. Remember be the hostess and you will glean the mostest!

For advice on where to network in Thailand or North West UK contact Netmediauk