As a business owner, you should ALWAYS be ready to pitch your work to potential customers and partners – this means taking advantage of any networking opportunity. Today I want to talk to you about what I consider the BEST time to market a business – the holiday season.
During the holidays – any holiday – there’s an increased amount of mingling, visiting, and time spent meeting new people. What a great opportunity to meet up with old friends, discuss how the year went, and casually drop in what you have planned for the coming year in terms of your business.
While this doesn’t mean that you should be walking into a holiday soiree handing out flyers and business cards to everyone you meet, this IS your opportunity to, at the very least, plant seeds for references.
Ready to Get Started?
Here are some tips:
- Accept all invitations. Remember that this opportunity to meet with so many people won’t come around again for another year. Also look around for holiday events at your professional organization, chamber of commerce, or other business groups.
- Go to the party prepared. Bring plenty of business cards and a pen. Make it a goal to make substantial connections with at least half a dozen people. In other words, a connection means a one-on-one talk that’s ten minutes or more.
- There are two types of people you’ll connect with at a party (no, not drunk or sober) – people you know and people you don’t know. For those you know, ask sincerely how they are and how business has been this year. For those you don’t know, be prepared with your “elevator speech”. This should be a description of how your profession may benefit them, not your job title.
- Spend more time asking questions and listening than talking. This is really THE KEY to effective networking at parties. “How has business been going? How have the changes in the economy affected your business? What are your plans for growth in 2013? What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?”
- Have a strategy for staying in touch. What good does it do if you connect with all these people and they never hear from you again? Don’t fall into the rut of suggesting you should get together for lunch sometime and never following up.
- Follow-up with your new prospects after the party, if appropriate. If some topics came up that indicated there was a reason to talk further, give them a call in a few days with a very specific purpose.
- Keep an open mind. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you could make some very profitable business connections. If nothing happens right now, at least you’ve sowed some seeds for the future.
- Don’t drink or eat too much and be sure to have FUN!
We are motivated to educate as many people as possible which is why we host many events. From in-person educational experiences to virtual webinars and even parties to celebrate our clients, we encourage everyone to get involved with all of our offerings. Take a look at all of our exciting events here: coachandyobrien.synduit.com
AJ O’Brien Ent, LLC
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