Unless you are a veteran salesperson with 10 years of experience, you are probably not very comfortable with the sales process. Let’s face it: It is not easy. Closing the deal is extremely hard, but finding the initial leads can often be even more difficult. As an entrepreneur in a startup or small business, getting qualified leads can be expensive and tedious. However, one of the most under-utilized methods of generating leads is through basic networking. ¬†
As much as you would like to believe it, you probably aren’t networking enough. If you are anything like me, you probably spend excessive periods of time in your office working on product development, marketing, or anything other number of things that a startup deals with. However, networking can be such a key tool in your sales process. You never know who you will meet at networking events. Get out there and open yourself up to possibilities.
This article originally appeared at My Two And A Half Cents and is republished here with permission.
MeetUp.com is a great place to find local networking events in your area. You can find out what events other people are attending and find events that interest you.
The website is extremely easy to use and is gaining in popularity, which increases the number of events that will be listed. I definitely recommend trying MeetUp at least once. I am confident that you will enjoy it.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, your local chamber of commerce can be an amazing resource for you and your small business.
Your local chamber will most likely host a variety of networking events for businesses, and they will also probably have a calendar of events of additional networking opportunities. Most are either free or fairly cheap for members and non-members alike.
NetParty.com is where social networking meets business professionals. Similar to MeetUp, NetParty displays networking events that are occurring in your city.
What is ideal about NetParty is the fact that this site is dedicated to networking for business professionals, while competing sites like MeetUp are for a variety of interests.
Created to facilitate listings of a variety of events and ticket sales, Eventbrite.com can also be a great tool for business networking.
Because of the volume of users and information, this site generates a large following that can lead to events with a larger attendance. Eventbrite is not as focused on business networking, and therefore should not be your first choice. However, it does serve as a great resource to find networking events.
If you subscribe to an industry publication, this can be an amazing resource to find out the what's and when's of networking events of your industry. At some point, there may be an event in your area. These opportunities can yield you networking events that allow you to interact with people who are closely related to your profession.
If you don't currently subscribe to any industry publications, you should begin doing so.
There are a variety of ways that you can find out about business networking events that are occurring in your area. If you exhaust this list and still can't find a relevant or appropriate networking event, there is only one thing left to do. Start your own! Come up with a great event tagline, location, time and date, and get out there and market it. Use every resource listed on this page to promote it. If you have any comments, or if I have neglected to mention a great resource, please post it in the comment section below.
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