Weekends hit different in 2020. With all of the new, exciting challenges this year has brought to us (sarcasm), it seems like each week is roughly 265 days long. But alas, it's Friday and if you're like me, you plan on making the most of the weekend.
While you may not plan on pounding the pavement looking for leads and/or potential new business contacts, you should always be open and treat each social outing as an opportunity to meet people who you could one day do business with. It just makes sense. Here are a few of our favorite networking tips to keep in mind if you're out and about this weekend.
Tip #1 - The ABC Rule - ALWAYS BE CARRYING
Business cards. Always be carrying business cards. You don't have to roll out the door with 100 of them in your wallet, but it's great practice to always be sure there are at least a few with you at all times. You never know when you could meet someone in need of your specific services. And don't be shy about giving them out. You don't have to be pushy, just say "Hey if you ever want to connect, let me know!"
Tip #2 - ASK PEOPLE FOR THEIR CARDS
If you've been having any kind of meaningful conversation with someone who you can see doing business with in the future, asking for their card is a great way to give you a leg up in the networking game. When you get home, write a note or two on the back of the card they gave you. Anything that has to do with what you spoke about or something interesting about them that you can use later on in a business call.
Tip #3 - INTRODUCE PEOPLE
A huge part of networking is being seen as a networker. People often think it's all about who you're meeting and who they know, but it's also really important to be someone who connects new people to each other. This puts you in the mix of several circles and creates more opportunities for you in the long run.
Tip #4 - TALK TO EVERYBODY
If you're in sales, which all agents are, you should have been blessed with the gift of gab. This makes networking easier for you than someone who is more on the shy side. If you see someone at an event who seems to be shrinking into the background, walking up to them and introducing yourself is a move that means more than you know. It gives you an opportunity to get to know them and then introduce them to anyone you think they should connect with.
Tip #5 - BE YOURSELF
Listen, it's the weekend. It's always ok to be casual and in lots of times, it's preferred. People are often more loose in unexpected networking situations than they are in formal ones, so take advantage of being yourself and really get to know the other person. Being at ease will make the conversation flow more freely and could lead to more interesting places.
Yes, the weekend is the time to ditch the suit and tie and get out there to relax, but keeping your eyes open for new opportunities and being open to speak to new people is a natural part of any good salesperson's personality. If you're headed out this weekend, be sure to bring your cards with you and be yourself. You just never know when it could pay off!