There’s no doubt about the fact that the dynamically evolved nature in which we work has definitely affected the way we do business. Be that as it may, we can perhaps collectively say that we’re still trying to figure things out as a generation by way of what can be officially stated to be standard and otherwise. For example, while there are still businesses that will essentially only do business with other businesses that assume a more traditional corporate structure, the next prospect down the line could see things totally differently and focus more on what the service provider can offer as opposed to what lofty office they work out of.
Many remnants of the traditional way of doing business are still very much in full-swing though, such as how any entrepreneur knows to honour any invitation to a physical networking session over trying to do all their networking remotely, even if doing it remotely suggests a much wider reach for a lot less effort. However, the problem is that with the evolving paradigms around the way in which we do business, networking sessions are becoming more like social gatherings where people who are in business and seeking more business go to effectively tell each other their hopes and dreams.
It sounds a bit harsh, but these are the cold, hard facts. While you don’t want to risk rubbing shoulders with fellow entrepreneurs who are indeed successful in their respective markets and who have the potential to perhaps send some of their business your way, you’re much likelier to rub shoulders with fellow entrepreneur who are just like you – hungry to land business as opposed to giving business away.
So with this in mind, here’s how to ensure to gain value out of every networking session you attend.
Get busy building up contacts
So if you do indeed manage to land some business on the spot at the networking session, consider this a once-in-a-lifetime, lucky break. Otherwise contrary to popular belief, at least in this day and age, that’s not what the purpose of attending a networking session is. Rather build contacts, which means you introduce yourself to every fellow entrepreneur you can, take their contact details and make it a point to learn something about their business and what they offer.
Make use of this opportunity to get some intel which you will use to your advantage later.
Create value by association
Now comes the fun bit, which entails creating value by association. This is done by simply mixing and matching businesses and what they have to offer in relation to what they’re looking for as well. If I met someone who is in property development at the networking session for example, I could put them in touch with the best HOA Management Service Gilbert has to offer as my value linking exercises. Perhaps the value the property developer would get is that of a much more localised service which will always be better in terms of costs and other considerations, while at the same time I’d also contact the service provider identified to let them know that I’ve referred a prospective client to them.
This way pretty much everyone you do a favour for in this way who attended the networking session will feel as if they owe you a favour in return, however big or small it may be.