After meeting someone at a networking event, you need to determine if you want to advance to forming a relationship or partnership with the other person. In order to do that you must meet one-on-one with the other person and see how that meeting progresses. People do business with others that they know, like, and trust. They also refer business to others that they know, like, and trust. How can you know someone until you meet with them and discover more about them, their business, and what type of person they really are?
Meeting someone one-on-one is imperative for you to start building a relationship or business partnership. When you build a relationship the right way, you will be rewarded by either gaining a client, a referral, or both. Your clients should be happy clients, willing to offer you referrals who can benefit from becoming your clients. If someone cannot become your client they should determine from your mutual partnership that they can pass referrals to you. Of course, this relationship should work the same way in reverse.
Referrals are the life blood of any business and are based on mutual trust of the parties involved. You must trust both parties involved when you refer anyone to anyone else. That trust is determined when you build relationships with others and want to help their businesses succeed. That relationship is built when you get to know them and determine that you like them, and then it blossoms into trust as the relationship or partnership develops. It grows from that initial meeting and then meeting one-on-one.
No matter what you have to market, no matter how wonderful or great your product or service is, and no matter how reasonable the price may be, no one should purchase what you offer if they don’t need it. They probably will never become your client unless they plan to give your product or service as a gift to someone else. These partners should become referral sources for you, but you will never have the benefit of a relationship with them unless you meet one-on-one and get to know each other. Establishing a networking relationship can be rewarding to both of you in so many ways, but you need to take the initial step to meet, get to know each other, and see if the relationship will grow with trust.
Give that first meeting at a networking event an opportunity to grow. If you don’t, you may always wonder what you may have missed. Your next client may be just around the corner. Your next great referral might be hiding in the list of friends or neighbors of that person who you met last week at that networking event that you just happened to attend. Still have those business cards that you collected? Give those individuals a call and see if you can meet them and get to know them. Then see if you can form a relationship that will reward both of you.