by Zoe Zorka

Whether you are new to business and would like to research the market and find new business partners or you are launching a new product or service, creating your own networking event - or taking part in one  - can be something to consider to reach your audience. A lot of preparation goes into networking meetings, and it is important that you give out the professional image that will impress your potential buyers or partners. Below you will find a few tips on how to make your networking success.

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Image via Flickr

Printed Materials

Depending on the size of the event, you will need to arrive prepared. Some organizers will allow you to take your leaflets and distribute them or display them on a table, and you will need to have enough. Business cards and appointment cards are also important. Ensure that you are ordering your stationary on time, so you can make a good impression on people you meet at a networking event and grab their attention.

Corporate Gifts

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Image via Buckley Air Force Base

It is important that you make people remember you. The more people there are, the harder you will need to try to impress them. This is where corporate gifts can help. No matter if it is a pen you are giving away, or a practical item, such as a folder or a notebook; it is likely to be used by multiple people and your logo and contact information will be printed on.

Display and Advertising

In case you decided to invest in having your own booth and make your brand more visible, you will have to make it attractive and attention-grabbing. You can learn more about the different forms of display advertising you can use at networking events to get people to stop and pique their interest.  

Follow Up

Networking is one of the best ways to add people to your sales funnel. You can create loads of leads, but it is what you do with them to turn them into customers that counts. Have a detailed sales process in place, and map your buyer’s journey, so you can follow the steps you will have to take to drive them closer to engaging with you and considering buying from you. Always follow up a couple of days after the event, and give them something valuable they will remember you by.

Taking Notes

Whether you are listening to a speaker or talking to a prospect at your booth, you will need to ensure that you are keeping track of the information. Realistically, if you meet hundreds  - or even dozens - of people on the day, are you going to remember their industry and their main preferences? Not likely. That is why - to boost your sales with networking  - you need to gather information and put it to good use.

Networking events give you a chance to see what’s going on in your industry, learn about your competitors, and connect with potential buyers. Use them to make your brand more visible and to learn from successful business owners.