Networking, every entrepreneur knows the importance and the enormous value it has, but how do you do network?
You might recognize this: you go to an event, hang up your coat and just to be sure you go to the toilet to see if you don’t have anything between your teeth and your clothes are perfect and you are looking sharp.
OK, deep breath in and out. And…
Then you walk into that large space with all kinds of people who are all talking to each other and you have no idea how to get into a conversation. Your heart is beating in your throat and you have sweat in your hands.
For me, this is certainly recognizable, because I am by nature an introvert and find it difficult to interrupt a conversation between two people…
And what do you actually say? Isn’t that very rude…what will they think of me?
And let’s face it, networking is exactly what your mother told you not to do: “talk to strangers“, so that doesn’t really help either….
I have now, with pain and difficulty, mastered this enormous Business Skill. You hear it right, it’s a skill you can learn. That is, if you know what you can do and how you do it.
Then it’s a matter of practicing, practicing, practicing and (you guess what?) practicing…
Everything starts with good preparation.
Good preparation starts with having the right questions in your mind, but also with the right answers to the questions you (almost) always get:
Lets start with the answer to the most frequently asked question:
What do you actually do?
Most people answer this question with: I am/do…………… (their profession).
However, a better answer to this question is:
I help …… (your target audience) with……. (and then your result, advantage or problem that you solve).
When people ask me what I do, I always answer the same:
I help Tech Impact Startups to make them “ready for investment” and then match them to our more than 700 investors in our network.
Tada, that’s a big claim (and 100% true) and makes you curious.
The other person will now ask in almost all cases: How exactly do you do that? And then you can continue with your conversation…. doable, right?
8 questions for an “easy start”.
To make it easier, here are 8 questions you can ask during networking (and think about the answer yourself, because you can also expect these questions back…).
1. What is it that you do?
2. Who is your target group (if they don’t answer like you do now)?
3. Why do you love what you do so much?
4. What’s new in your industry (then you know if someone is really an expert)?
5. What is the biggest challenge for yourself in your company?
6. What is the biggest challenge for your company?
7. What distinguishes you from your competitors?
8. Why did you start your business?
But the most important thing you do immediately (or max 1 day after) is to “follow up” on contacts you’ve made, otherwise there’s no point in networking…
The questions mentioned above have already given me many new and valuable relationships because we both quickly see the added value of helping each other and recommending each other’s products or services. Or you can find out very quickly that someone just doesn’t suit you.
In the same way, I found co-founders for startups and investors (in addition to customers and suppliers).
There are many more tips and I can also tell you more about a correct and smart follow-up systems that gets you results, but that is only possible by doing it. LIVE, Together with me and a large group of startups and investors.
Thursday November 28, 2019 we will organize our own event where we will organize a unique Networking Game that will make clear what you have to do and what you shouldn’t do and that will guarantee a pile of business cards of relevant, new contacts.
It’s too much to explain here in this blog, but feel free to check out this extensive video of what the result was for a participant in this ultimate network game. (Tip fwd to 16 min)
Would you like to network effectively with fellow entrepreneurs and investors?
Then come to our event in The Hague on Thursday 28 November 2019 with our Business partner RVO, who will explain to you what subsidies are available for you as an impact start-up.
Your biggest fan,
PS: At this location is only a limited number of places. So order directly!
PS2: All info and the program can be found here.