Become a Champion Networker with this 1 Magical Question

The power of belly to belly networking is incredible for entrepreneurs and should be part of every small business marketing strategy.

The ability to connect in person can strengthen a business relationship and will always create amazing opportunities.

Too many entrepreneurs hide behind avatars today and consider that networking.  While social media is amazing and can make a networking event even better, business owners that want to succeed need to get out and meet belly-to-belly.

To network effectively I’ve got a proven 3-step process that works even for introverts.

First though here’s the most important part of networking that seems so simple, yet is often overlooked.

When you’re at a networking event and meeting people, keep your business cards in your pocket. Do not walk up to people with the intention of exchanging business cards. How many people actually do something with those cards anyway?

Give someone new you meet a 110% of your attention.  Don’t look at whom you may be speaking with next, give the person in front of you all your attention. Ask them this magic networking question:

“I love connecting people.  Can you share for me who’s a good referral for your business?”

You love getting referrals for your business, don’t you? Everybody loves a great referral and by asking this you’ll learn so much about that individual and make an impactful impression.

Remember it’s not a race to collect the most business cards; it’s about forming meaningful beneficial relationships that can create amazing unknown opportunities in the future.

Here’s the 3 step process to maximize networking opportunities:

Before the Networking Event

Before attending a networking event learn who’s attending the event and connect with them socially, via email and calling when possible.  Most events today have a list of the individuals who are attending an event and their social handles.  If they don’t go to Twitter and search the events # (Hashtag) to see who’s talking about it.

Connecting with individuals before hand is rarely done, but if you’re an introvert who’s uncomfortable at new events this is gold.

When you reach out socially beforehand, when you’re at the actual networking event these people will be looking for you. You don’t have to worry about walking around because if you use a recent photo as your avatar, people will be approaching you from your communication socially.

When connecting you can use the # (Hashtag) for the event and simply mention the individual you want to meet.  Start a conversation online around the event and you’ve now made networking a breeze.


At the Event

Meet as many new people as possible at networking events. Sometimes we fall into the trap of mingling with the few people we know, but always try to meet new faces (hopefully ones you’ve met online beforehand).

Take a lot of pictures and share them socially using the # for the event and @ tagging people in the pictures. They’ll in-turn share it with their network and inadvertently many will begin to follow you.

Other than sharing socially about the event and pictures, keep your phone off. You’re there to network, so network!


After the Event

The real party is the after-party!

The real fun of networking starts after the event. This is when you want to reach out to everyone you met with a thank you email. Connect with them on all social channels and if you can make that perfect introduction for them, now’s the time to do it.

Thank the host with a call or email and consider writing about the event so others can learn about it.

Lastly make sure to use some type of system to stay in front of people.  Reach out every 60-90 days to your network to keep the relationship fresh. Ask if anything has changed in their business and share something that you believe can add value.  This keeps you top of mind and opportunities will begin to flourish.

This is a little cheat sheet below with the steps to help you network like a champion at your next event.

Network like a Champion

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite part of networking?

Wishing Entrepreneurial Successes to all.

This guest post was written by Michael Kawula, Founder at Self Employed King.

Self Employed King helps small business owners around the country work the Core 16 Strategies that are Guaranteed to Grow a business in 12 months. These marketing strategies helped Mike build a $20,000 a week local cleaning business and also build an annual $3 Million+ Online Business. Connect to learn more about the Core 16.