Sonoma County: News and Notes

I am getting ready for my Webinar today titled "Sales for the Non-Sales Person". If you have any desire to view a recording of the Webinar, just let me know! Next Month, I will be doing a Goal Setting Webinar. Details on that next week.

I went to the Santa Rosa Chamber Mixer last week at the Flamingo Hotel. It always strikes me that these events are not as productive for people as they might be. It is a great place to introduce yourself to others in the local business community. It is not a place to close business, but you never know who you might meet.

I did my usual joking around with Steve Lyman of the Chamber about how to be more successful in making new connections there. The main point of that exercise is to build the pod of people that you are chatting with in a way that you can easily bring new folks into the conversation as they walk by. It helps a great deal and you can be building credibility as you do so. Once a pod gets going, you can move on and start another. By the end of the evening you will have met as many people as you want to.

Which leads me to the second point of this post. For some folks, mixers are fun ways of getting out inexpensively and chatting with a few friends. For many of us, Networking events are a type of marketing. The challenge that I see is that few people know the basics on how to work at a Networking event. Yes, have a Glass of Wine and a Snack. But remember, if you are Network Marketing the the operative word is netWORK.

Like anything else, that means you should have a plan. Above, I gave you a way to building groups to talk to. More importantly, you need to set goals for yourself about the type of people that you want to meet and how many you want to get cards from. Remember I did say that this was work.

Most importantly, you need to have a Follow-Up Strategy. You got the card. What now? I will sometimes go to a lower value event with the idea of seeing who will follow-up with me first. Normally, not one card I have handed out nets any acknowledgement. I am a perfectly good potential client and referral partner. I have been in Santa Rosa since 1997 and I know many people in Sonoma County and elsewhere. I have over 1,200 connections on LinkedIn. You have no idea who I know. So, if you went to an event and didn't contact the people that you got cards from then why did you go?

People will get from me at least a Thank You e-mail and a request to connect via LinkedIn. If there is somebody that I might introduce them to, I will do the introduction in 48 hours.

Over the rest of the year there are plenty of Networking Events here in Sonoma County. The Santa Rosa Chamber does 1 mixer a month. Santa Rosa Connections once per quarter. And there plenty of other groups having events and gatherings. If this is part of your plan, then now is a great time to make it work for you.

Have a great week!

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Change Your Business - Change Your Life!
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