At this stage in the process you’ll treat each of your fellow attendees at the online speed networking event as a little mini research project (in the best possible way!). I know it sounds a bit creepy, but hear me out! lol. Imagine you are now a private detective and your job is to “profile” each attendee at the event in order to be able to ‘understand’ them, their behaviour and the possible opportunities that could result from working with them. That is all you’re doing now…
So I want you to grab your login link to the online networking event and start browsing those profiles (as soon as the event organiser opens up this functionality for you! Usually about two to three days before the event...). When looking into the profiles I want you to make notes just like you would if this was anything other than a human… So you’re looking for key bits of information from all over that will :
1) give you an idea of who this person is and what opportunities they could offer you and you could offer them and
2) remind of this understanding fairly quickly when you’re looking it up when you’re face to face with this person.
But if you don’t have a CRM right now - a google sheet will do nicely since you’ll be able to find a contact fairly easily and quickly by making use of the find (ctrl + f) function when you’re looking for information.
Look, the easiest way to demonstrate this, VERY PRACTICAL, skill is to do a case study with you, so to keep it as real as possible without violating any laws I will research one Swapcard profile I have available to me, but with blocking out all personal information, to illustrate how to complete the process from start to finish as we progress through the research process.
So here we go:
So I noticed that they had a nice professional profile picture. This is great, because that means this person is taking this opportunity for networking seriously, which means they want something...
See, our proud #ProTechMentor Steven Levy always says "No one wants to be sold; everyone wants to buy."
So the fact that this person is looking for something, means that there is an opportunity for me to offer that to them. Now I just have to figure out what they are looking for... :) Its like a puzzle...
I also noticed that this particular attendee is a founder and CEO, which is again great news for me, because it means she can make decisions with regards to buying products and doing referral campaigns. This is my target market so this profile is looking really promising to me right from the get go, but lets look a bit further...
So further investigation into the profile shows that the person gives me good vibes, I think we'd be able to get along really well and we have some skills and areas of interest in common so we 'speak each others' language. I also noticed that this person has access to my target market and is not represented on Facebook or Instagram. Those are opportunities for me to talk referral campaigns and to also find out how I could help them with their social media marketing campaigns. The call to action at the bottom also lets me know that the thing they are looking for at this event is customers.
Now I have to tell you... just because someone is looking for customers doesn't mean that you can't get customers from them... In fact, one of the most effective ways of acquiring more customers is to find people that have access to your target market but offers a different product or service than you. This opens up the opportunity for discussions of mutually beneficial referral and other agreements. In a world where collaboration is key, these types of deals can pay off hugely for both parties, if designed and implemented correctly.
The next part of the profile shows the attendees contact details and website URL so I make notes on these like this:
It is incredibly important for the potential relationship and for compliance with cybersecurity and other regulations and legislation that I get permission from this attendee before using their contact details for anything! So I make a note that these are there, but that I still need to obtain permission (an easy enough task to accomplish during the actual speed networking event).
I now move on to check out the website URL and the social media links I have obtained from the Swapcard profile and I make sure to keep my eyes open for any signs of problems and/ or opportunities. In this way I discover, amongst other things, that this attendee has a blog section on their website, but it isn't very up to date, in fact it is looking very bare...so I make a note to discuss the benefits of having a good, up to date blog available on one's website and to inform this person that we offer blog posts as one of our digital services...
After doing all this research I am very happy with the fact that there are a lot of opportunities that may be unlocked from networking with this person so I star the name on our CRM and make a note that this is a priority person to network with at the upcoming Online Speed Networking Event.
What I have successfully achieved in this research phase is to:
- confirm for my own piece of mind that there are opportunities to be unlocked at the upcoming Online Speed Networking Event
- given my brain a headstart at connecting the dots to figure out how to unlock these opportunities
- prepared some notes for myself that I will use to keep me laser focused during the actual networking - giving myself a higher chance of accomplishing my goals!
Is this process starting to make sense?
Let me know in the comments down below what service you offer and how you go about researching fellow attendees at networking events to establish whether or not there are opportunities available to you from speaking to the candidate/(s) and I'll offer you my ten cents on even more innovative ways that you can use to quickly establish whether or not a certain attendee is a potential match for you in your business!
With much love. Yours in business,
Nestene Botha is a Registered Auditor, Chartered Accountant, Tax Practitioner, proud #ProTechMentor and one of the founders of Explore ProTech. The expertise she contributes to Explore ProTech spans the fields of entrepreneurship, business, training, course building, coaching, marketing, networking, writing and more. Hence why the team has dubbed her their “Chief Executive Dreamer”. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs find, unlock and unleash their inner value - in life and in business.
Steven Levy is a Leadership and Business Development Coach at Dare2Be and also a proud #ProTechMentor actively involved in mentoring on all our membership programs, providing inspiration in our disccussion forums as well as being a key mentor on our #Fempreneur Course.
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