Firstly choose the right meetings!
Do your research, ask people who have attended before. Does it match your purpose for attending? Does the style of the meeting suit you? (although there will be times you have to push that comfort zone!)
Some tips for that first meeting:
- Ensure the groups you commit to are right for you (includes possible prospects or likely referrers)
- Have your ideal client/s in mind so you can position that profile in the mind of others when you have the opportunity to say what you do (eg I am a X who works with/specialises in working with business in the Y sector.)
- Ask first, answer second, so that you are able to reply with relevance. (eg be first to ask the most common question ‘what do you do’)
- Communicate what you really do to help – otherwise people can assume or guess and may have some preconception based on past experience or conversations with others
- Ensure you ask for referrals to your ideal client/s and give an example of a local business to which they can relate to.
- When they know you are an X then they are thinking generally. When you specify they are more focused. When they hear a name they are making specific considerations. At that same time they are subconsciously thinking of all three scenarios.
- Have an idea of the businesses or people you want to meet (eg who are your ideal client/s or what type of business can refer them)
- Get introduced by asking the people running the meetings to introduce you to those people
- Don’t sell to the room, but build the relationships (know, like, trust)
- Aim to book one to one meetings afterwards (give more time to research and pitch more personally).