Remember Your Networking Toolkit

by Rob Brown on August 6, 2012 · 0 comments

You know you should network, and you hopefully know where you should be networking. But you can’t turn up to an event or network meeting empty-handed. What you bring with you through the door separates the good networkers and GREAT networkers. The good will go to the event, the great will go completely prepared. And part of showing up prepared is your ‘networking toolkit’.

Your networking toolkit will ensure that you achieve the best possible results from any networking event. Your toolkit is one of the biggest keys to the networking doors of success. Let’s take a look at some of the things your networking toolkit contains…

  • Business cards.
  • Map & directions.
  • Details on parking.
  • Deodorant (it’s maybe been a long day!)
  • Your own badge.
  • Mints, gum or breath freshener.
  • Your own badge if you have one.
  • The appropriate outfit.
  • A nice pen.
  • Marketing literature (just in case!)
  • Your smile.
  • A good handshake.
  • Your two ears.
  • Your elevator speech.
  • Some great networking questions.
  • Your networking goals.
  • A positively expectant outlook!

Some more details…

Your business card. This is the most important tool in your box – it is a cardboard representation of  you.  It is, at the very least, one thing that a potential customer, client or introducer can take away with them. It should have enough information on it to make whoever takes it want to call you, but not so much that it is cluttered and crowed.  There is such a thing as too much information!  So, make sure you have enough cards so that anybody who asks for one can take one.

Getting to the event is as important as actually deciding to go. So in your toolkit should be adequate directions, a road map of the city that the venue is in – especially if you are unfamiliar with the destination.  Parking information is a benefit also. You don’t want to have to leave your car miles from the venue, and then have to make a journey on foot!

If you have a company badge, take it with you. Having your name and company on display can often speed up the introduction process.

You have to look the part when you attend a networking event. People often work on first impressions, and if you arrive wearing a pair of paint-stained jeans and some old running shoes, then, no matter how great your product is, they are much less likely to buy into you. After all, that is what they are buying – YOU!

Along with an appropriate outfit, you should carry your smile, your two ears, and a good handshake. This is all part of your image. If you come across as shy and retiring, your business prospect may think that this is representative of your approach to business.

A big part of your networking toolkit is your elevator speech or 60 second introduction. It might be written out so you can read it, but better is to have it memorised and recallable at all times. That way, when you are asked ‘So, what is it that you do?’ you can give the best possible answer and maybe even secure the business you are looking for.

Remember your networking goals, as these are the reason that you came to the event in the first place! And most importantly, have a positive, expectant outlook. Success is there for all those who wish for it.

Good networkers go to events. Great networkers go prepared to events. Take your networking toolkit to get the best from all of your networking events!

Rob Brown
Rob Brown is an expert on making more money from business networking, online and face to face. He loves working with people who want to network for more sales, referrals or career opportunities, Rob’s books, coaching and dynamic talks have helped clients such as GE, HSBC and a range of speakers, leaders and business owners. A regular media contributor, Rob is founder of the Global Networking Council (the world’s top 200 networking thought leaders, authors and gurus) and author of the bestselling book How to Build Your Reputation. For a free copy of Rob’s Networking Follow Up Checklist – 45 tips to Turn Your Business Cards into Business, go to www.therobbrown.com/nwfu-check-signup

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