The mindful art of face to face conversation

Are you so strapped for time that blocking timeout in your diary to get to events, briefings and meetings is considered to be a nice to have rather than a must do?Let’s consider the benefits of attending ‘live’ events as I am pretty sure that with a renewed perspective you can free up a bit of time in the diary after all. 
Firstly, let’s be clear, when you are in business you need to ‘Network’, don’t fear it think of it as an opportunity to meet like-minded people who share your enthusiasm for business.Speaking generally the ‘quality’ of the contact, referral or lead you will meet is higher than those found via other marketing methods. Depending on the event the opportunity and action you take can be tailored.

Sector specific, tradeshows & conferences will have an abundance of contacts directly within your sector and importantly complementing sectors will be in attendance.   Events like this are perfect for discovering new industry trends, meeting suppliers and new customers and with pre-planning a perfect place to arrange meetings with buyers, distributors and potential customers. Think smart, plan-ahead and you will get the best out of the event.

Never underestimate your local business network, local events are great for referrals, people buy from people and there’s no better starting point, the opportunities are a lot more free-flowing in localised events and its often a lot easier to follow up these leads and turn them into meaningful opportunities for the long term.

But remember good relationships take time to forge and you’ll need to be consistent and give as well as receive. ‘It’s not what you know it’s who you know’ and this adage is never truer than in business. You need to be motivated to meet new people and the opportunities that come are endless; collaborations, joint ventures, client leads, new business and even speaking opportunities.  Just be sure to do a bit of due diligence before you accept every opportunity that comes your way!

While networking you may also come across the benefits of Mentoring whether you’re being mentored or your mentoring someone, there’s a level of satisfaction from helping others by sharing your experiences, advising and introducing contacts and that’s good for your business and the soul!
You also need to be keeping great company and so make the time to keep in touch properly a catch up over lunch, a drink or at an event.  Make it your business to get to know ‘Influencers’ in your sector. Identify people whose company is ‘good company’ and surround yourself with positive people who will help your business thrive, people who make the most out of networking events are growing their businesses to.   The more people you get to know the more your confidence will grow.

Happy Networking and remember none of this is possible if you don’t clear that diary and leave the office!

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