What is Business Networking?
Any time you put a group of business people in a single environment with the intent of building new business relationships ... or new people to whom one might refer one's business acquaintances ... or be referred. When this is done with the intent of building new business relationships, this is Business Networking. There are many forms of Business Networking. The three most common are described below. Any form of Business Networking "may" include elements from another.
What is Open Networking?
Put a group of business people in a room. Let them loose to introduce themselves to each other - make relationships and find new people with whom to do business ... or new people to whom one might refer one's acquaintances ... or be referred. When this takes place in an uncontrolled environment with little or no structure or guidelines with the exception of when the venue opens and closes, this is Open Networking.
What is Speed Networking?
Stand or seat a group of participants - one across form another and let them speak to each other for a pre-determined period of time. Each person is guaranteed to speak to each of the other participants. The nature is much like speed dating except that the focus is to seek out potential business relationships. This format typically features a small Open Networking component. The number of participants is usually limited by the amount of time allotted for the Speed Networking component and the venue size. This is Speed Networking.
What is Dinner Networking?
A group of business people gather (usually) in a restaurant for lunch or supper (lunch is more common). This format typically has structure allowing each individual time to introduce their enterprise to the other participants in what is referred to as an "elevator pitch" featuring a duration of 30 to 60 seconds. There is generally a brief pre- and post-meal Open Networking component. The number of participants is usually limited by the venue size. The amount of time allotted per "elevator pitch" is governed by the amount of time for the meal (typically shorter at lunchtime) divided by the number of participants. This is Dinner Networking.
Tips for Effective Networking!
Polish your elevator pitch! In an elevator you have between 15 and 20 seconds to grab your listener's attention. In an open networking environment, if you don't interest your listener they will move on so practice! learn to get your message out in a brief but meaningful way. If the listener is interested, (s)he will give you more time.
Be a good listener. If you don't listen to others, they won't listen to you. Offer a generous ear to others ... and they must do the same for you.
Tips for The Perfect Pitch!
The five (5) steps to an ideal pitch:
  • The proposition ... what are you offering?
  • What makes you unique ... why you? What is it you do differently? Is it price, quality, speed? What ever it is, be ready to sum it up.
  • Who is your ideal client? Innumerate your ideal prospect.
  • The "Call to Action"! What do you want from the person? Do you want them to look at your product or service? Do you want a referal? Tell your listener.
  • Listen! Listen to what your prospect says. If it's about your business or about theirs, give them the same attention you want!

Next free after hours event in London, Ontario:

• Visit Meetup to get details about London Promote & Grow Your Business - Tuesday, February 9, 2016; 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
@ East Side Mario's, 287 Wellington Rd. S., London, ON

London BusinessNetworkers
London's Event - October 20, 2015
London's Event - September 15, 2015
Brantford's Event - June 19, 2013
Brantford's Event - March 27, 2013
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