You never know when your next big lead will present itself. Famously, people tend to meet the next right person on elevators. But, you never know! Therefore, it’s important to be prepared to network anywhere, anytime, with anyone.
You likely have your networking strategy in place and a good routine set in motion for each event. In order to take your networking strategy to the next level, you need to be ready to improvise. Building off of your networking habits, let’s:
- Link your networking goals to your business goals. A good networking strategy has two things: well-defined goals and a connection to your business goals. Consider your networking goals’ action steps along the way to meeting your larger goals. As such, you’ll be sure to keep your focus at your next event or chance encounter. Remember, you never know where, when, or who could be a connector or influencer in your business.
- Play with your elevator speech. By now, you’ve perfected your speech. (And hopefully multiple based on the event, audience, and goals in focus). Don’t let your speech become a speech though. It should be more of an elevator conversation than a programmed delivery. You should be so comfortable with your “elevator conversation” that you can easily and seamlessly weave into conversation.
- Turn up your networking radar. It’s easy(er) to be prepared to network at a scheduled event. But what about the chance encounter with someone at your kid’s soccer game or at a community fundraiser? This is where the ability to improvise with your elevator speech will come in handy. It may not be appropriate to dive headfirst into your whole spiel, but gauging the environment and potential contact can help to guide your conversation. If nothing else, you can set up a time to meet for coffee to discuss your mutual business endeavors!
- Pick up the phone. Sometimes people need a little push. For instance, the person you think would be just perfect to connect with, but you’ve been having trouble linking up. Give them a call directly and invite them to coffee. Drop in to their office to hand off materials. The follow up is arguably the most important part of networking, so get creative and stick to your plan!
Ready to get started? Nashville Locals has a variety of networking options for you to try your hand at networking in a variety of settings. Check out our list of upcoming events and see what strikes your fancy!