Productive Network Meetings


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Productive Network Meetings

  1. 1. Productive Network Meetings Hale Pringle Ed.D. “ Hale Yes!”
  2. 2. Productive Network Meetings <ul><li>First – What is a Network Meeting? This presentation is about attending meetings where you share your “30 second commercial” AND network with people. In some cases you just talk to the other attendees (“Network”). </li></ul>
  3. 3. Four Types of Network Meetings <ul><li>Casual contact networks (networking events or industry mixers) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge networks (professional associations) </li></ul><ul><li>Strong contact networks (groups that meet frequently specifically to build professional relationships, like those run by BNI) </li></ul><ul><li>Online networks (professional social media services, such as LinkedIn) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Productive Network Meetings <ul><li>You absolutely CAN NOT just “go to the meeting and meet people” or “go to the meeting and get new clients” </li></ul><ul><li>This was my whole plan a couple of years ago and I’ve learned a couple of things since then that I’d like to share. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Productive Network Meetings <ul><li>It is not about “finding yourself”, it is about “CreatingYourself” </li></ul><ul><li>We are all “… a work in progress!” </li></ul><ul><li>Use yourself as a yardstick – What do I like to hear at meetings? What do I ignore? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Productive Network Meetings <ul><li>We are going to break this into two major sections </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Tactics </li></ul>
  7. 7. Strategy <ul><li>Why am I going? What is my objective? </li></ul><ul><li>What is my message? </li></ul><ul><li>How am I going to present my message? </li></ul><ul><li>What meetings should I go to? </li></ul><ul><li>What can I do to enhance my credibility and be someone that others want to make referrals to? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why am I going? <ul><li>The weakest objective is “I'm going to sell some of my great products OR sell myself” </li></ul><ul><li>Better, but still weak - “to meet people.” </li></ul><ul><li>Better, but still weak -“To get referrals” </li></ul><ul><li>Still weak - “Get business cards from likely candidates so that I can call them and set up a meeting to share my business.” </li></ul><ul><li>So what is a good reason to go? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why am I going? You have to start by asking yourself what you really want to accomplish at the meeting. You need to really think about this.
  10. 10. Why do you go? <ul><li>Meet new clients </li></ul><ul><li>Get referrals </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Build credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Help people </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why am I going? In my humble opinion the BEST reason go is to get AN APPOINTMENT Meet with someone face to face – that is where the real networking is done!
  12. 12. Why an Appointment? <ul><li>I suggest that you have several objectives that work toward getting appointments </li></ul><ul><li>To brand yourself – get people to remember you and what you do (they can’t refer if they don’t know BOTH of these) - Be Visible </li></ul><ul><li>To help people – they won’t want to help if you are just a “commercial” </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships – people have to know you to want to help you </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why am I going? The key to successful networking is to remember that you’re working on building real, deep relationships with your professional contacts.Your network won’t do you any good if it’s full of lots of people who you don’t know very well; cultivating both the depth and width of your network is extremely important. Help will come when you least expect it.
  14. 14. Why am I Going? IT IS ABOUT REFERRALS - NOT SALES The Three Questions 1. Do I need the “Product” 2. Does this particular Product meet my needs 3. Do I want to deal with THIS person. When the “Product” is a referral you need to make the other person “need the product.” They have to want to help you. That is why we MUST HELP the other person.
  15. 15. Why am I Going? What do do about The Three Questions 1. Give the person a reason to want to help you 2. Be clear about what you need 3. Be a memorable person that others want to do business with It is not about who you know, it is about who knows you
  16. 16. What is your message going to be? – This is Tricky <ul><li>Option 1 - Share ONE of you products. </li></ul><ul><li>Option 2 –Share your company </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested message – share your “why” Tell people why are you doing what you are doing and see who resonates with your message. Go to and view Simon Sinek's talk “Start with Why” </li></ul>
  17. 17. What is your message going to be? <ul><li>Remember: </li></ul><ul><li>People have to remember you! </li></ul><ul><li>People have to remember what you need! </li></ul><ul><li>People have to trust and like you enough to help you! </li></ul>
  18. 18. How am I going to present my message? <ul><li>People at networking meetings relate to YOU, not your company or your products. They need to see: </li></ul><ul><li>Your passion – your posture is your message </li></ul><ul><li>I like to think that I am trying to get people to mentally raise their hand and say “That's me! I want some of that!” 99.9% of all product pitches fall on deaf ears because the listeners say “I don't need that” instead of “I want that.” </li></ul><ul><li>You MUST PRACTICE – OUT LOUD! Video Tape yourself. Work on your presentation </li></ul>
  19. 19. What meetings should I go to? <ul><li>There are a number of web sites like </li></ul><ul><li>There are church and temple groups – some are Men's Clubs and Ladies Auxiliaries. </li></ul><ul><li>There are quilting groups and other special interest groups. Pick something you really like. You have “Something in common” with the other attendees. </li></ul><ul><li>Chambers of Commerce have “After hours” meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>There are some networking groups that are very focused on referrals much trouble. </li></ul>
  20. 20. What can I do to enhance my credibility? <ul><li>Start with being early and staying late- “network” </li></ul><ul><li>Be consistent. Going one time is a waste of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Be dressed for business. </li></ul><ul><li>Work on your 30 second commercial – and if you are not talking OUT LOUD your practice does not count. Video tape your talk at home </li></ul><ul><li>Be vibrant, energetic and passionate! People don't get inspired by a wallflower who talks so softly they can't be heard. </li></ul><ul><li>Take your materials – these are covered below. </li></ul>
  21. 21. What can I do to enhance my credibility? <ul><li>Suggested best practice – develop a tag line that requires audience participation – Branding! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Brian does printing, printing, printing.” Then he asks “What does Brian do?...” and the audience responds “Printing”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ My name is Hale Pringle (pause) and for me the first question is always 'Is this a great day?' and the answer is always 'Hale yes!'” </li></ul><ul><li>It engages the audience – they focus on you, </li></ul><ul><li>It helps people remember you </li></ul><ul><li>When the group respond it gives you instant credibility with newcomers. </li></ul>
  22. 22. What steps am I going to take approaching every meeting? <ul><li>What should I take? - </li></ul><ul><li>business cards are a must. Card holder helps </li></ul><ul><li>Something to write with and something to write on </li></ul><ul><li>Write on cards you get and those you give </li></ul><ul><li>Your list of people you plan to contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Your calendar – you must make appointments </li></ul><ul><li>A name badge </li></ul><ul><li>You may want to take fliers or handouts. </li></ul>
  23. 23. What steps am I going to take approaching every meeting? <ul><li>Set TARGETS ! </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to X number of new people </li></ul><ul><li>Collect X number of quality cards </li></ul><ul><li>Set up X number of appointments </li></ul><ul><li>Talk some to the people you know. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up by holding the appointments. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up with the person you met with after every appointment. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  24. 24. What steps am I going to take approaching every meeting? <ul><li>Set targets! </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested best practice – If your meeting is announced on a web site like, go to the web site a couple of days before the meeting. These web sites ask for RSVPs. You can look at who said they are planning to come and identify people you definitely want to seek out at the meeting since they look like very high potential prospects for you business. You can even send message through these systems. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  25. 25. How do I psych myself up on the way to my meetings? You should be listening to motivational audios on the way to the meeting. Get in the zone. You should also be making positive affirmations (“I am going to find the perfect person today.” “I am going to be on fire today”) Say it out loud and your mind WILL believe it.
  26. 26. Who am I going to be at these meetings? This may seem like a strange question, but networking is about CREATING yourself – not finding yourself. You need to make a conscious effort to put on your extrovert personality when you attend these meetings. I know for the first few months that I attended meetings I regularly thought “What the h@#$ am I doing here?” as I sat an watched others schmooze. I discovered that I needed to redefine my public persona and you may need to as well. Focus on “Giving!!”
  27. 27. TACTICS Once you are at the meeting you need to focus on carrying out the planning.
  28. 28. 1. Before the Meeting <ul><li>Smile </li></ul><ul><li>Offer to help the organizer. </li></ul><ul><li>Look first of those people you sent messages to or identified from the RSVP list. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for and engage high energy, positive people. </li></ul><ul><li>Spend some time with the people you know </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for people who want to talk to you. </li></ul><ul><li>In all of these conversations you are listening, listening, listening. </li></ul>
  29. 29. 2. During the Formal Part of the Meeting <ul><li>If you are going to sit during the meeting, try to sit next to someone you have targeted </li></ul><ul><li>Be attentive – try to id people to talk to. </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes about things that will help others and notes to remember names. </li></ul><ul><li>If the meeting protocol calls for passing out business cards, then do so. </li></ul>
  30. 30. 2. During the Formal Part of the Meeting <ul><li>When it is your turn to speak </li></ul><ul><li>Stand and look the group in the eyes (or foreheads – they can't tell the difference.) </li></ul><ul><li>Pick the furthest person in the room and talk so that they can hear you. </li></ul><ul><li>Do your best to face everyone. </li></ul><ul><li>Don ’ t be backlit -away from bright windows </li></ul><ul><li>Stand tall – stand proud – don ’ t fidget </li></ul>
  31. 31. 2. During the Formal Part of the Meeting <ul><li>Say your name and then pause. </li></ul><ul><li>You might say your company name - loud </li></ul><ul><li>Say your tag line and engage the group in a response </li></ul><ul><li>Don't fidget, don't rock, don't shove your hands in your pockets </li></ul><ul><li>Give them your message </li></ul><ul><li>Say your name again </li></ul><ul><li>Sit down (do NOT sit down while you are still speaking) </li></ul>
  32. 32. 2. During the Formal Part of the Meeting <ul><li>A cardinal rule of networking: “ Never ask for anything from someone you ’ ve just met . ” Networking goes bad when a complete stranger says ‘ let ’ s do business together, hook me up, etc … . That ’ s not networking, that ’ s direct selling. </li></ul><ul><li>Last but not least - don't be weird! </li></ul><ul><li>It helps to have a friend in the group who will critique you later. </li></ul>
  33. 33. 3. After the Meeting – the most critical segment. <ul><li>Make the contacts you need to turn the meeting into a “ productive meeting. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Tactic 1 – have a target of X number of cards you are going to collect to make Y calls </li></ul><ul><li>Write on the cards – notes that help you remember the person </li></ul><ul><li>Have a system for handling cards – important ones in one place, others somewhere else. </li></ul><ul><li>When you get home – make the calls, do the followup, etc. </li></ul>
  34. 34. 3. After the Meeting – the most critical segment. <ul><li>Tactic 2 – have a target number of appointments you will set at the meeting and go for those appointments. </li></ul><ul><li>Try this approach. “ I really am interested in what you said during your 30 second commercial. I'd like to sit down with you and have a cup of coffee and hear more about what you do. I would really like to understand so that I can confidentially refer people to you. We can also spend some time talking about what I do. ” </li></ul>
  35. 35. 3. After the Meeting – the most critical segment. <ul><li>You can use a referral approach - “ My business might not be for you but I really would appreciate it if you would help me out. I KNOW that you could refer me to a couple of people who might be interested in working with me. Would you sit down for a cup of coffee and help me out? ” </li></ul><ul><li>You can use a direct approach - “ You would be spectacular in my business. I'd love to sit down over a cup of coffee and show you what we do. ” </li></ul>
  36. 36. 3. After the Meeting – the most critical segment. <ul><li>Another approach -Just before you need to leave a person (meeting is over or you can say “I need to go see so and so over there) say </li></ul><ul><li>“ By the way, just throwing this out, but would you be interested in a side project where you can make some money unrelated to what you do now?” If they say “yes,” then you say “Why? What changed for you recently?” Book appointment and leave. </li></ul>
  37. 37. 3. After the Meeting – the most critical segment. <ul><li>The BEST approaches are where you offer to help the other person. We are immune to commercials and really shut down when approached to “buy something.” Offer to help them and they will be more prone to listen to you. Then they have a reason to help you. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Productive Network Meetings <ul><li>Last but not least – plan to go back. You must go regularly to build relationships and to master making the time your spend at network meetings productive. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay in contact with your network – outside the meetings!! </li></ul><ul><li>Networking is about planning, practice, goal setting and execution. It will become natural and it will become fun. You just have to do it wrong until you figure out how to do it right. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Productive Network Meetings <ul><li>MONITOR your results </li></ul><ul><li>EVALUATE your techniques </li></ul><ul><li>MODIFY </li></ul><ul><li>TRY AGAIN </li></ul>