I was very cynical about speed networking but I realized that this was because, like many people, I had unrealistic expectations about what it could achieve. So let me give you a few suggestions on how I’ve learnt to get the most out of speed networking events.
1) Use going to a speed networking event to force yourself to write simple explanations of what you do and how you can help people.
2) At the meeting try different versions to see which has the most impact on the people that you speak to. Check that people have the same understanding of the messages that you intended.
3) If you have a good one to one discussion ask the person if you can contact them in a few days to talk some more.
4) Always write notes on the back of business cards that you collect.
5) Always follow up by phone or email with interesting people and talk about how you might be able to help them.
6) Pass on sensible leads and contacts to people that you have met – you might just get some back.)
7) Don’t expect to meet your perfect prospect at a speed networking event but do expect the attendees to know a few people who you would like meet.
8) Use the event to get a feel of the marketplace which may help you modify your marketing and sales approach.
Finally, don’t use it as your only form of networking. You need several types of networking to be part of the mix of things that you use to build your business.