When it comes to networking people often make the mistake of treating it differently to any other human interaction we have on a day to day basis. Networking is simply another word for connecting and we connect with people all the time, so why do we find networking so intimidating?
In my opinion it’s all about our mindset and how we approach it, the minute you mention the word ‘networking’ as a sales or marketing tool for business everyone piles on the pressure to give/receive as many business cards as possible and sell, sell, sell! But the way I see it we dictate the quality of our network or connections by our initial intentions. When making new friends do you constantly think about what you can get out of them? No! So don’t do it in business! On the other hand if you flip the idea on it’s head and look at how you can connect with those in the room rather than network with them, you will see a profound difference in who you speak to and how you feel about it.
Trade shows and exhibitions are all about getting to know your customer and opening up the lines of communication on a human level, it’s not just about shifting a product! When you meet someone new rather than concentrating on how to turn them into a customer why not consider turning them into an advocate instead? Brand awareness and the impression your brand leaves on potential customers or advocates is always going to be more valuable than a single sale … it’s time to play the long game!
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Go forth and connect … you got this!