Effectively networking with wedding vendors so that they remember and recommend you to their brides is an art to say the least. You have to build trust so that you can become a walking, talking advertisement for each other.
Here are 10 tips for successful networking with other wedding business owners:
- Networking is about being genuine. When you ask a colleague what they do be genuinely interested and suggest ways that you can help them.
- Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for.
- Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest.Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.
- Hold volunteer positions in organizations.This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you. For example, can you volunteer to be the secretary for your local NACE organization or NAWCP?
Ask open-ended questions. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.
Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others.
Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.
Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow.
Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.
Always think of networking events as 1) a place to help someone else grow their business and 2) have a plan as to who you’re going to connect with in order to grow your own wedding business.
What has worked for you when networking with wedding vendors? Please tell us below.
networking advice, tips for successful networking, wedding vendor help