Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BNI Regional Networking Workshop

We had a BNI regional networking workshop which started today at 7:00 am in the Olympic Collection in west Los Angeles. Our Money Makers chapter was the host so we were all there at 6:00 am!!

Breakfast of all kinds were self served. It was fun and educational with so many networking opportunities and contacts to be made. I do not have the numbers but it is my guess that more than 150 members and guests participated in this event.

Here are ten networking tips for savvy networkers that I picked up today:

1- Be prepared. Savvy networkers always have their networking tools with them. An ample supply of business cards, name badges, flyers, brochures, etc.
2- Arrive early, be relaxed and focus on learning about the other people in the room.
3- Have a plan. Have an idea of what the goal is for each event you attend.
4- Be a giver and /or connector. When you focus on "giving" and being helpful to others, the "getting" will come later.
5- Leave your troubles behind. Put on a happy face at the door. This the "show time".
6- Listen with focus. When someone is speaking with you, give that person your entire focus.
7-Be genuine. There is a huge difference between being INTERESTED and in trying to be INTERESTING. Be genuine in your interactions with others at an event. It comes back to building trust, to building "brand YOU".
8- Do teach/Don't sell. We know that the immediate sale of a product or a service is not the goal in networking.
9- Follow up. After the event, send a thank you card to each person that you had direct contact with. mention something from your discussion in the thank you card.
10-Follow up some more. Depending on where you look, marketing statistics state that it takes 7 to 12 impressions for a customer to make a buying decision. Meeting face to face is the 1st impression. An e-mail, a phone call, another card, a lunch date ... don't stop after 1 or 2 impressions. Keep going and dig deeper until you build the relationship you need to sell.

I guess I gave you enough valuable tips from this early morning BNI networking event. Now, I have to get back to work and practice what I learned there and preached here in this post!

Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Tel. 310-770-9085

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