Nothing beats face time for making a lasting and favorable impression that can lead to work. Here are some networking tips inspired by my friend Shannon McCaffery on her blog www.marketingimplmenter.com
One of our Career Launcher program members told me recently how effective these tips were at a networking event. The prospective voice buyers really opened up as they answered these questions and he made a great impression for future work.
When you meet someone at a networking event, don’t start blabbing about yourself.
Ask questions and listen. Here are 4 great networking questions:
- How’d you get started in your business?
- What do you like best about what you do?
- What are you most passionate about these days?
- What are your biggest challenges right now?
Listen actively and build rapport with follow up questions that show your genuine interest. For example:
You: What do you like best about what you do?
Producer: Travelling to exotic locations
You: Really? Me too. What are some of your favorite places?
Producer: We just got back from Prague. Amazing city.
You: So I hear. What were you working on while you were there… etc
When the prospect finishes talking about his trip add your “elevator speech” such as:
“Thank you for telling me about your trip to Prague. I felt like I was there! I’m a professional voice talent and one of the things I like best about what I do is working with creative media professionals like yourself to help make their vision come alive. I have a fully equipped home studio and offer fast turnaround and reasonable rates. How can I help you?”
Note that the last line of the script is an open ended question that encourages the producer to think about how he can use you, rather than ending the conversation by giving you a simple yes or now.
One more thing.
Always ask for a referral. End every conversation by asking the producer if he knows anyone else who can use your services. Chances are you’ll get some great leads.
Finally, before you move on to the next person, make a few notes. I like to use the back of their business card. Follow up with an email or personal note, saying how nice it was to meet them and offer to help however you can. I have my photo on my business card and my picture in my email signature file to help them remember me.