The best way to make business contacts and get good leads that will become sales is through professional networking. Any IT consultant should get into professional networking from the beginning of his/her career.
PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING IS ABOUT FOLLOW-UP
You have to keep in touch with your prospects between meetings by calling or sending emails. If you come across people through your professional networking activities that seem to be in positions of power and influence or people that could give you good referrals, suggest meeting for coffee, breakfast or playing a round of golf. Follow-up is the only way in professional networking to compete with other IT consultants.
PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING IS ABOUT HELPING SOMEONE ELSE
You should never be self-centered in your professional networking endeavors. Ask about the contact’s problems and use the professional networking time to really understand what the person is experiencing. You should focus on helping the person before yourself.
NO MARKETING COLLATERAL? USE PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING ANYWAY
New IT consultants often worry about not having marketing collateral, but during professional networking sessions, typically your contacts will not care if you have an 8-page professionally-done brochure or one you created yourself that has your basic information. The most important item you need is a simple web page that has basic information to tell contacts about your company.
DRESSING FOR PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING
You should always dress in a way that fits the event you are attending. Informal events typically call for business casual wear, whereas formal events require suits for men and suits or dresses for women.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A NAMETAG IN PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING
You should make a plastic nametag with your company logo on it to wear to professional networking events instead of relying on the provided magic marker sticky nametags. This will put your brand out there and make people remember your name and your company.
Professional networking can help you get contacts that could turn into valuable clients. If you follow some simple professional networking tips, your efforts will really pay off.
Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg