Top tips for networking success
The AMF hosts a range of exciting and informative events, including monthly meetings and a quarterly: Marketing Club, Process Improvement Group, HR Forum and Finance Forum.
AMF events are diverse in nature and cover a broad range of topics, inviting expert guest speakers from across the North East to share their expertise and encourage knowledge sharing amongst attendees.
All our events include a networking session to help our members meet potential customers and suppliers, as well as share best practice. We encourage members to utilise this time to get to know fellow manufacturers, pitch their businesses and identify potential business opportunities.
Our strategic marketing partner, Horizonworks, has provided their top ten tips for ensuring you maximise on these networking opportunities.
1) Always be prepared – Prior to the event ensure you are aware of the event theme and who the key speakers are. Make sure you take enough business cards and that you have a notepad and pen should you need to take any notes or capture any contact details.
2) Set objectives and reasonable expectations – Why are you attending the event and what do you hope to achieve? Are there any members or guest speakers you would like to approach?
3) Don’t wait to be approached – Smile and say ‘hello’ or use simple ice breakers to start a conversation. This could be anything from ‘do you mind if I join you?’ to ‘have you attended any of the other forums, which would you recommend?’.
4) Prepare your elevator pitch – You should have a pitch ready in which you can describe your business in 50 words, and if there is more than one person from your company you should all be saying the same thing – consistency is key! This should cover your core USPs and services.
5) Don’t sell – You’ll have more chance of success by making genuine conversation, building rapport and showing interest in what the other person has to say. Remember, you’re trying to develop a relationship with a new contact.
6) Be engaged – Listen carefully, keep eye contact, never interrupt and ask open-ended questions.
7) Be passionate – Win people over by sharing enthusiasm for what you do.
8) Remember that networking isn’t a competition – It’s about building relationships and growing your database of contacts.
9) Attend a mixture of events – This will allow you to diversify your network and avoid becoming ‘insular’ – The AMF hosts a range of events which you can view here.
10) Evaluate – Collect all relevant details and follow up with all new contacts – remind them of who you are and what you do, provide them with access to more information and a means of progressing the relationship e.g. would they like to sign up to your e-marketing or would they like a meeting to discuss your services?
For more marketing tips from Horizonworks don’t forget to sign up to our Marketing Club, on Thursday 8 February, which will focus on ‘A whistle-stop tour of marketing – 60 minutes, 60 tips, 60 takeaways!’