Working the Room: A No-Fear Guide to Networking Events

networking One of the best tactics you can use to build your business is attending networking events. But walking in to a room full of strangers can be intimidating even for a seasoned Distributor. Here’s how you can make the most out of this opportunity.

Find the Meetings

Networking events are happening all over your town. Whether it is the local chamber of commerce, the rotary club or a professional development group, you can always find an event where dozens, maybe even hundreds of local people are meeting. Find the one that suits your needs the best. For example, Trino Luna, a Distributor from Omaha, NE joined his local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“At the meetings, I have met a lot of different people looking to change careers so it is a great opportunity for me to tell them about Reliv,” Trino says.

Rosemary Bell, Presidential Ambassador from O’Fallon, MO recently joined her local chapter of Business Network International (BNI). The group meets weekly and guests are invited to attend two meetings before deciding whether they want to join the chapter.

“The meetings are a great opportunity because at each one, you get one minute to introduce yourself and promote your business. Then, we rotate opportunities to give a 6-8 minute presentation to the group. For my presentation, I showed some of the Reliv Opportunity Slides,” Rosemary says.

Prepare Yourself

Be sure to bring a stack of business cards with you and be prepared to summarize what you do and why you love your business. Many networking events have a “business card exchange” at the beginning of each meeting where you have an opportunity to meet everyone at your table. The last thing you want is to run out of cards and miss a potential opportunity to get a call later! Wear a shirt with the Reliv logo on it so people who know of the company can recognize it, and those who don’t know about Reliv can ask you what it is.

Provide Useful Content

Successful networking is all about sharing useful content with others. Provide information, content and helpful advice to others and they are more likely to respond. Consider being a sponsor of a meeting. Many organizations allow for members to give a presentation or put an ad in the program book in exchange for a sponsorship fee. This puts your business in the spotlight and allows you to reach out to the entire group, beyond the individuals at your own table.

Form Relationships

Forming relationships is the goal of professional networking events. Instead of starting out with a sales pitch, ask others about their careers and what they like about it. “The key to networking at these events is to have good listening skills,” Rosemary advises.

People love talking about themselves, so this will naturally open up the door for a conversation with them. Be an active listener. Then stay in touch. That can mean planting the seed of interest about your Reliv business, but developing the relationship further to make a sale.

Maybe you send them a business referral or pass along an article you found that relates to his or her industry. Perhaps you send a business owner a congratulatory note when you find out about an accomplishment. Maybe they aren’t ready to make a career move now, and that’s ok. But once you have formed a credible professional relationship, you have set yourself up for a business opportunity meeting later. Plus, even if that individual isn’t ready to become a Distributor or customer yet, perhaps they know of someone else who is.

Some tips for Using Networking Events Successfully:

1) Determine your goals in participating in networking meetings so that you can pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are focused on professional development, learning, volunteering or local economic development, while others are focused strictly on forming business connections.

2) Volunteer for the organization. Simply helping plan a meeting or event helps you stay visible and puts you in a better position to meet more people.

3) Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you form a reputation as a resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. By remaining on others’ radar and being a resource to them, you become the first person they will want to call when they have a referral for you.

4) Follow through quickly on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow.

Use Team Reliv to network at community events!

Team Reliv can help you promote your business at more than just 5k races. Set up a booth at a community festival and give out samples. Provide a nutrition information booth at a health fair. Set up a booth at a local job fair to encourage people to start their own business. Wear your Team Reliv gear and get ready to make some business contacts!