Attending networking events is a great way to gain exposure for your lingerie business.
But, they can also be a little intimidating. There are so many new faces to meet and thoughts to discuss, yet little time. So, should you show up with your game face on and jump right in? Well, yes, but never wing it. You need a strategy to ensure you get the most out of your time spent at the networking event.
Here are six networking tips to help you maximize the return on your networking efforts:
1. Bring plenty of business cards.
The number one networking tip is to have lots of business cards on hand. A business card is a tangible way for people to remember you. And, you should give one to every person you speak to at the event.
2. Have your elevator pitch ready.
You must have an elevator pitch prepared before walking into a networking event. An elevator pitch is a short – about 30 seconds or less – sales pitch about your lingerie business. As a lingerie store owner, your elevator pitch may be a little different than other business owners’ pitches at a network event. That’s because there’s not a small demographic that will benefit from your product. Instead, nearly everyone in attendance can benefit from your store, so you’re there to spread the word about your lingerie store. The more people that know about your store, the more potential customers you have.
Consider what makes your store stand out. How do you take a different approach to empowering women? What makes your store different than others in the industry? Why should people buy from your lingerie store instead of another? Having an elevator pitch prepared ensures you quickly cover all the hot points when telling a new face about your lingerie business.
3. Create a strategy before the event.
It’s also essential to have a strategy when attending networking events. Getting a drink and mindlessly mingling with people will make you wonder why you came to the event. So, don’t do that. Take some time prior to the event to strategize.
There may be specific people you want to speak with, depending on the type of networking event. For example, a women’s small business event would give you the opportunity to source new, local partnerships. So, you’d want to consider the type of partnerships and businesses you’re interested in before attending. Or perhaps it’s a women’s happy hour event.
Your strategy there may be to simply speak to as many women as possible and invite them to your store. Or, you could be looking for an influencer, so you have criteria in mind for who that person is.
Creating a strategy before an event helps act with intent and not waste time. You know why you’re there and are ready to jump in.
4. Talk to everyone.
One of the best networking tips is to speak to everyone. Regardless of your strategy, talking to everyone will help you find the people to whom you want to speak. And of course, speaking to many people expands the awareness of your lingerie business.
Don’t get too comfortable speaking with one person for too long. You came to meet new faces, after all. Be selfish with your time so you meet that goal.
5. Get to know people genuinely.
You want people to remember you even after the event is over. A great way to do this is to genuinely get to know the people you meet. This type of compassion and interest will make you stand out in the crowd.
Remember, you’re being a little selfish with your time so you can meet as many people as possible. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a genuine connection with someone in a short amount of time.
6. Be yourself.
Being yourself is one of the best ways to present your lingerie business to new people. It’s your personality, ethic, life experiences and background that inspire you to build your business every day. So, let those parts of you shine. Be authentic and genuine, and people will connect with you as a lingerie store owner. They’ll get a clear idea of what you’re selling and why you’re selling it.
Networking events are always a good idea for lingerie store owners. Strategically choosing networking events that your demographic attends gives you a large pool of potential customers. Be yourself, be personable and let people see why it is you love doing what you do. When you do that, you’ll be a face – and a lingerie store – they won’t forget.
Do you attend networking events? What works for you?