Look Beyond the Room
Often times we attend networking events and simply judge the event by who’s in the room. How many times have you heard someone make a comment about the attendee profile of an event. But looking solely at who’s in the room is a giant mistake.
Looking beyond the room will help with long term cultivation of referrals from the networking events you are attending.
Let’s start off by stating the obvious – if you’re at a networking event where every attendee is your ideal client, then great. You’ve done a great job at scouting out the right event to attend. However that’s not always possible, especially with networking events where a wide range of attendee profiles are being invited to attend. This is the case with many chambers of commerce and boards of trade for example.
So when you meet someone at an event, they may either not be interested in your product/service at that time, or may never have a need. For example, if you offer a specific service to physiotherapy/massage/chiropractic companies you may be inclined to think that the networking event is not worthwhile.
However, asking for an introduction to someone they know in that particular field may be the best way to leverage that networking event to grow your business.
What does the ask look like exactly?
It could be something as simple as: “Do you know anyone who …”
Or “Would you be willing to introduce me to your contact who does …”
Or even: “I’m looking to get introduced to someone who …”
Sure, not everyone you meet at a networking event will be open and willing to make an introduction on the spot, but simply putting it out there that you’re looking to get introduced to your target audience show that you’re clear on your networking goals.
Following the event, a follow up email to re-iterate your conversation at the event may also be a great way to remind that person of what you’re looking for. It also creates a sense of accountability if they mentioned to you during the event that they’d be willing to help with an introduction.