5 Tips to Close Deals After Networking Events

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By Asha Morton

We all have had it engraved in our minds: your network is your net worth- and that’s precisely why relationship building is more important than just showing up to events.

Let’s be honest, we enjoy attending mixers after work since they keep us out of rush hour traffic, but are we taking advantage of being in the same room with C-Suite executives and decision makers?

Since eighty-five percent of opportunities are filled through networking it is crucial to be skillful and well prepared. Networking is a door opener for deals that may not have been as successful through cold calling, and it is a great way to vet potential clients, partners and future employees.

The bottom line is, if you treat your next networking event like a job interview, you will see instant success. (You can thank us later)

Tip #1: Research, Research, Research

Find out who will be in the audience. Most events have a social page that will show who will attend or are interested in attending, which is a great way to locate critical contacts and decision makers. Learning about someone before meeting them is a great way to show how you do business, and gives insight on their business goals, value and potential opportunities.

Tip #2: Mutual Friends?

Learning to leverage friendships as a way to build future connections is vital. Asking the event coordinator to help make a connection with a contact is an excellent way to further your interests. The individual will arrive prepared to connect with you and discuss business.

Tip #3: Perfect your Relationship Building Plan

Are you working the room just to fatten your Rolodex? Spending time to nourish the right relationships will, in turn, bring the big bucks and future partners. After an event, create a list of business cards received and rank them based on your interactions. “Write down why each person is important, and how you would categorize the strength of your relationship on a scale of zero to five,” says professional relationship development expert Keith Ferrazzi, author of “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time. This will help you develop a strategy to pursue your goals—and hone in on building with the right people.

Tip #4: Diversify your Network

Usually, during events, we tend to migrate towards like-thinkers, but it’s essential to build relationships with individuals who can introduce you to new social circles. Attending events outside of your norm is a great way to find new business, increase your brand presence and drive sales. Also, this is an opportunity to stand out and learn from influential individuals from other industries.

Tip #5: Polish Up your Follow Up

If the business cards collected during an event were blank checks and all you need is a signature, how any meetings or site visits would you set up to get those signatures?
FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP! For your network and partnerships to become robust, it’s essential to maintain these relationships. Find ways to connect with these individuals on a regular basis and the referrals won’t stop coming.

Build connections and Close Deals at these events!