ADLEADPRO here! We decided to shake things up a little. Instead of posting our usual content about traffic (and yes, we have dozens of articles about Facebook), we’ll be talking about networking today. As we’re heading to AWBangkok, we see more and more comments like ‘why would I spend that much money, if I can use this grand on traffic?’. And still, AW, Sigma and other conferences are as always fully booked.
Why is that? Because people go there to network. And this is the most important part, far more than various presentations on the stage. Those who have prepared themselves beforehand, managed their insecurities are the ones who are earning more than they spend on the tickets, booths, plane fares etc. For those who are still a bit anxious, here are some of the main principles of networking spiced up with personal stories and life-saving tips🤪
P.S. We’re also looking for Account и Affiliate Managers for these verticals. More info here.
P.S.S. If you want to network with us at AW → we’ll be waiting for you in Booth B12🤘
Networking for the poor, a better approach and sales
The end goal of networking is obviously profiting from the connection, but most people forget about a human connection. As a result we see blunt sales and some bad aftertaste.
To cut it short: networking for the poor is selling here and now. Making money your priority, not people (even though the best cases are those where you had a good time talking to a person). If you see networking as a sales channel, you should first try making a nice human connection and then build a business one on top of it. Let’s see how we can do it.
So how do you sell with networking?
People are more eager to buy from those they know and trust. Share some personal stories, build credibility, connect on the personal level. The stronger the connection is, the more chances you have of selling your products or services in the future.
Obviously, don’t make it a point to discuss your pets, hobbies and home life for the next three days. Just make sure that shop talk starts naturally, not following a script you’ve written while reeling at home. You need to establish yourself as an expert in a field that can help with knowledge and skills. And then, if the person you’re talking to shows interest, you can convert this connection into a lead.
Set the goals for the conference, parties and afterparties
Now let’s go back to the grim reality. You’re an affiliate that has just paid a grand for a ticket. It’s good to go through the booths, get all the merch you can find and post several stories on Instagram. But we have better ideas:
- Find interesting offers and markets for a test. Each company that has paid money for a booth will bring something new and unique to attract new partners.
- Find a team, business partners, important people that have the expertise and resources you need.
- Talk with experienced colleagues and discuss problems with traffic. If you can’t pass some checkpoints, lose leads and are tired of holds, it’s a good idea to learn how to deal with it in inspiring surroundings.
So, the first thing you have to do is to identify and set the goal for the conference, what you’re looking for and how you yourself can be useful to other people.
What are your strengths? You have some working approaches and you need turnover? You have a media resource and want to help brands become more recognizable? Sure, if you have traffic, you’re automatically welcomed everywhere. But it’s still necessary to leave a good lasting impression.
What if you’re an introvert?
First of all, time to deal with it. Even though there are stories with one person earning $40k, they are an exception, not a rule. And it might be an outcome from good networking, who knows.
If you have trouble talking to people, try listening. Networking is not just about talking. Active listening will bring even more benefits and the interlocutor will be more inclined to ask you questions.
Some good preparation never hurts nobody and will just give you a confidence boost. You can prepare a few notes to use when the awkward silence sets in:
- Fun facts about yourself. Be prepared to talk about some general stuff including sharing a bit of info about yourself along the way.
- Some cases from your personal experience. You and your partner may share the same problems, but one of you has already found a solution. Sharing is caring, and that might bring some more benefits in the future.
- Topic questions that you find interesting and your partner can be an expert in. You can also do some preliminary research online and find people you find particularly interesting.
Having these points thought over will help bring them up during the conversation and make it easier and more light-hearted.
How to start communicating
Okay, now that you are at the conference with all your mental notes and set goals, you’re ready to go all in. You even have some business cards with you. What do you do and where do you go? For starters, find places where people are ready to talk: bars, food courts, smoking areas, booths and, obviously, Networking zone.
It’s better to start with the last one. This is exactly the place where people seek new connections. Don’t be afraid to get rejected, you can come up to anyone there and start a conversation.
How to start a conversation
Don’t forget: everyone here is to talk with other people. Your conversation partner doesn’t know who you are and how you can be useful to them and they to you. The same as you. Which means the interest to you and your conversation is a default setting here.
But it’s better not to be remembered as that ‘overbearing’ person killing any conversation. To avoid that don’t:
- Start with a long monologue. You are here to converse with people, it needs to be a dialogue.
- Be secretive. People are here for business, not guessing games. Don’t be a strange person with weird schemes, be open for conversations.
Emotional connection is also of importance here. Don’t start with business talk right away. Come up, introduce yourself, ask about the day, impression from the conference, shake hands, ask their name and what they do. And then you can go on ‘oh, me too! Are you also fed up with the limits from Facebook?’
How to leave the conversation in the right way
If you come there to chat, you’ll see 2 days are not enough. The more people you can meet, the better. And for that you need to be able to finish the conversation with one person and go to another.
How do you finish the talk without losing the contact? Make sure you will connect with the person later online. Share some useful things on Facebook or via email. Or suggest eating out the days after the conference (if you’re still in the same place).
A gentle reminder: there is no such thing as useless contacts. You never know when you’ll need a SEO-specialist, but at least you have a contact of a good one already.
That’s it. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to keep up with our updates.
Blog of the ADLEAD affiliate program.