The start of a new year is the time to set personal and business resolutions. Networking is an important and powerful element of the wedding industry, so consider making the commitment to being a better, more effective networker in 2013!
Photo credit: Andrew Jordan Photography
We know that attending networking events, reaching out to people you only met once, or making the introduction to a new contact can seem challenging at times. To help make your resolution a reality, check out Entrepreneur Magazine’s 7 Key Habits of Successful Networkers, highlighted below.
- Ask insightful questions: Anticipate who will attend the networking events and opportunities you are participating in beforehand to gather an idea of who you may meet and any potential connects to explore. Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to learn a bit about individuals and companies so you will have the opportunity for an insightful conversation.
- Add value: When you meet a new person that you would like to develop a connection with, look for ways that you can work together, and how you can help them. Take action by making an introduction of a contact to an engaged couple looking for a Wedding Pro in their service category. This is a great way to show a Pro that you value their business and work (and they will likely return the favor!).
- Learn their ‘story’: Find out how they got in the wedding and event industry, and how they got to the business and more about the position they have today. Not only do people love to share their passion, but this is an easy ice-breaker as people enjoy sharing their story, and will likely lead to common connections and new topics of conversation about the industry.
- Share a memorable fact: Make a lasting impression! When you meet a new contact and they ask you what you do, mention an interesting reason why you got in the business, a favorite business memory, or even a networking tip. This way, when they reflect on the people they meet and the business cards collected, they will remember meeting you over all the other connections made.
- Keep a list: Make it a routine that after you network, you make a note of your new connections. Immediately add them to your contacts and draft a follow up email (to be sent in a day or two) expressing that it was great to meet them that evening, and personalizing it with a memorable topic shared in your conversation. Adding notes to business cards or your contact list about when you met, what was discussed, or any item to follow up on makes it easy to place your new contacts when you get in touch, or pick up on your conversation where you left off!
- Make small promises and keep them: After meeting a contact you would like to get to know better, let them know you will be in touch and follow through! Whether it’s sending an email, making a social media connection, giving them a phone call or meeting for a coffee date, but sure to follow up in a timely manner to maintain your new connection and work to develop your professional relationship.
- Reward your ‘power’ contacts: It’s a good idea to keep a list of your top networking partners for the year, and keep in touch with them. Finally meet the new events director at the venue you have always wanted to do an event at? Make a connection with a successful vendor in your service category from another city and want to get to know them and what works for their business better? Add them to your list and check in a few times over the year to touch base and maintain a professional relationship, which could help you develop your business!
Follow these top tips and you will be a super networker in 2013!