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How to “Relationally” network a room 

Get signed up for the next Heads Up at Eggs Up Grill event in Apopka


Many folks chafe at the idea of attending networking-type meetings and see them as a necessary evil in prospecting for new business. We generally do business with people we know, like, and trust, and that only happens when we build some level of relationship with them. It should be your focus at networking events. Here are a few tips that will help make your experiences more pleasurable and rewarding by "relationally" networking with others.  

  1. Never attend with the motive of "What can I sell?" but rather "How can I serve?"While many in attendance may not need your product or service, they can be your raving fans to others who do. Look for ways of helping them through introductions, etc.  
  2. Accept the fact that you can't meet everyone. Understand that you've done well if you leave the event with one or two potential prospects. Quality is much better than quality.   
  3. Arrive early. For those who are a bit shy and intimidated by large gatherings, it's more comfortable psychologically to have people come into a room once you're already there than to walk into a full room.  
  4. Another reason to arrive early is in case there's a table with name tags. You can identify folks you want to meet, and you can identify a potential "wing person."  
  5. Have a "wing person." They are the person who will make introductions for you while saying something positive about you in the introduction. This is so much better than walking up to folks cold. You will do the same for them.  
  6. When you hear a person's name, listen carefully and repeat it back to them. Try to use it a couple more times during the interaction. People love to hear their names, and it will help you remember.  
  7. Ask a non-business-related question (hometown, college, hobby, etc.) and make notes (mentally or on their business card). You'll use this later. 
  8. Give a brief "elevator speech". Without giving details, say, "I serve my customers/clients by (providing, helping, assisting) them with (your product). Then see if they have questions. If they do, that's a good sign that they're engaged. Then say, "That's a great question, would it make sense for us to meet over coffee?". Try to do your elevator speech after them because you can connect how you serve to a shared point.  
  9. Business card triage. As you're interacting with folks, you'll collect many business cards. Some you'll want to keep – especially if you've made notes on them. Some you'll want to trash as soon as possible. Pick two places to put the cards – either in pockets, in a handbag, etc. It will help you remember who is whom later.  
  10. Follow-up e-mail. Always send a thank you e-mail as a follow-up to meeting someone. This e-mail aims to either set an appointment or confirm one already made. Ensure you include a comment on that non-business-related piece of information you learned. It will show that you're a good listener and you took an interest in them. Refrain from including an expanded version of your elevator speech.  

We're all people—people with similar likes and dislikes, joys and fears, challenges and concerns—people who have unique stories. It is the essence of building and nurturing relationships. The bottom line is that if you relationally network a room and use it as an opportunity to learn other people's stories, your life will be more prosperous—even if you don't make a sale.  

If you'd like to be invited to the next Apopka Voice "Heads Up at Eggs Up" relationship-building event, contact Mark Goldstein at 407-484-3899 or mark@theapopkavoice.com.

Relationship, Networking, Mark Goldstein, The Apopka Voice, Heads Up at Eggs Up, How can I attend the Heads Up at Eggs Up event?


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