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What is networking?
A network is a chain of interconnected people or operations. In a social setting, networking is letting others know what products and services you are satisfied with and who provides them.
How is business networking different?
Everyone goes to a business networking event to seek new business for their products and services – new people to connect with. You can tell previously met prospects about new products and services. It can take 37 times for someone to see your face, your name, your company name, branding, etc. before they buy from you or refer someone to you. Repetition and persistence are the keys to networking.
What kinds of business networking events are there?
Women Who Excel Inc. has business networking events that are breakfasts, bingos, dinners, financial information meetings, and mini tradeshows and fashion shows.
What should I wear to a business networking event?
At a business networking event, you may only have one chance to make a great first impression. Business dress please – no blue jeans. Business dress for women is a dress, suit or blouse/top and slacks. For men, a suit or shirt and slacks. Your company-branded clothes are appropriate.
What should I bring to a business networking event?
Besides your business cards, brochures, a pen/pencil, and small notebook, you need to bring a friendly smile, a firm handshake, positive temperment, and open attitude.
It’s my first time – what should I say?
You need to be brave and go up to another individual and introduce yourself. Start off with your name, title, and company name: ‘Hello, my name is Mary Smith, I am the President of the ABC Company. And you are?’
Once the other person has introduced themselves, you can tell them a couple of sentences of what your company does.
Don’t monopolize the conversation – networking is a two-way street. You both want to learn about each other’s business.
Am I there to sell?
At a business networking event, your primary function is for others to get to know you so that they are comfortable to refer business to you. Some business categories such as finance and health may not have a high turnover so you need to get the other person’s trust before they will give you their business.
Why are men at a ‘women’s’ event?
Business men, male associates and spouses are welcome at WWE mini tradeshow and business card bingos. WWE encourages networking between men and women. Men are purchasers of products by business women. You may want to form a business partnership with a business man. Many business men can refer their female associates and family to your business. Keep your options open.
How do I choose a business networking group?
Ask yourself these questions to find the right networking group for you!
You need to find out the fees of the group – if they are weekly, monthly or yearly. Is there an initiation fee?
How often do they have business networking events?
Is their mandate business, social or service?
Do they mainly bring in outside speakers or ask members of the group to speak?
Are there opportunities to have tables to showcase and sell products and services?
What geographical area do they service?
Is it an exclusive group (only one person per products/service) or open to duplicate companies, products and services?
Are there opportunities for the members to promote themselves in website ads, banners and listings?
Do they have a print directory and what is the cost?
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