Do you use networking as a marketing strategy for growing your business? In this video, marketing strategist Dean Mercado of Online Marketing Muscle provides a 3 phase approach to transform “good” networking results to “great” networking results using strategic networking.
For those who prefer to read the transcript:
Hi this is Dean Mercado of Online Marketing Muscle and welcome to this video segment where we’re going to talk a little bit about strategic networking. Not just any networking, strategic networking. What I’m going to give you is a four phase approach to doing just that. In a nutshell what are the three phases?
There’s a pre-phase or a pre-event phase what happens before you get to the event or what you should be doing before you get to the event. Then there’s the event itself and then there’s the post-event which happens afterwards. Now typically a lot of times where we see a breakdown in networking effectiveness and networking strategically is typically the outside the outside phases, the pre and the post. Now those that have been around me for a long time know that I’m a firm believer in nothing happens in business without people, so the more strategic you can be in developing and nurturing your relationship with people, the more successful and success you are going to experience.
Let’s talk about the pre-phase. What do we mean by the pre-phase? We’re talking here about your figuring out what you want, setting goals in other words, what do you want from that networking event? The networking event could be a one-on-one with one person, it could be your doing online on any social media site, it could be you attending any trade conference or conference or seminar, anything like that. Anywhere you’re going to bump into people, could be the grocery line for you know whatever, but. The idea is you need to be thinking through what do you want from that experience? Also, doing a little bit of research, so if you know you’re meeting someone particular, Google them. Just type in their name in quotes in Google and find out a little bit about them. If they have a LinkedIn page or a Facebook page, check them out a little bit. Learn a little bit about the person because it will help you communicate and it will help you connect with that person when you are actually in conversation with them.
Along with the researching and setting goals, rehearse a little bit. If you’re uncomfortable or nervous rehearse a little bit. If you have to stand in front of a mirror even do that. Stand in front of a video camera, whatever it takes to start getting you a little bit more comfortable engaging people. Now for some of you this is not a problem whatsoever and you feel I need to rehearse that kind of thing. But for many of you, it may make sense. If you need to be in a closed room when you do it or in your car, fine. The idea is get a little bit of practice. Practice does help make you more perfect with doing this. We’re researching, we’re rehearsing a little bit, we’re setting goals. What are we doing, we’re building a plan. We know what we want to accomplish as a result of networking at that event.
Then we’ve got the main phase, the event itself. This is where you need to execute. You need to pull from everything that you’ve planned through and you need to execute. With the intent of really connecting with this person and finding out if there’s a bond. Try and bond. And see where go from here. So you kind of want to lay those pieces out. If you do bond, what’s next? And if there is a next, what is it exactly? And really lay that out with that person, so this way it’s not like oh well we had a great meeting today, we just met for an hour and now you never call each other again. The idea is if you want to take it further, make a plan. Set some things in action. Whatever it takes. Even break out the calendars if that makes sense and put another appointment on the calendar.
So we’ve got the pre-event, the event and now we’re going to the post-event. Now I’m also a big fan of saying the power is in the follow-up. Let’s face it, if you don’t follow up with the person after that chances are you really wasted your time networking with them. Unless of course they weren’t worth following up with and that does happen too. Nothing wrong with that. At least you know, but the key is that if there is any reason to follow up or follow through make sure that you are doing that in the post-event phase. So the follow-up the follow-through, looking at what you want to accomplish. Again, setting another plan in motion of what’s got to happen next and then putting in place and making that happen.
So we’ve got the pre, the event itself and then the post event. A little strategic networking for you. Try it on, let me know what you think. Comment on the blog, let me know how this works out for you. It’s not just going out there and just saying I’m networking. Have a purpose. A purpose and objective. OK folks, happy networking, have an outstanding rest of the day and we’ll chat soon. For Dean Mercado, Online Marketing Muscle, here’s to your success.