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Networking events can be great occasions for finding new customers and business partners. But not everyone knows how to scoop up these benefits. Sometimes it’s because they are unable to initiate fruitful discussions with strangers. In other cases, they’re so focused on selling that they come across as pushy, and end up not convincing any prospects.

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Your networking outings don’t have to wind up like this. If you adopt the right approach to engaging people at such events, you could land yourself some pretty decent business deals. And that’s your ultimate reason for networking.

Here, we’ll talk about how to land business deals at networking events, in four steps.

Define Your Networking Goals

Before you go to a networking session, you should be clear about what you aim to achieve with it. We have already stated that you’ll be in it to clinch good business deals. The key to succeeding at this is your ability to move people from being unfamiliar with you, to being meaningful connections.

Your goal could be to add a specific number of persons to your list of potential customers. Or it may be to find a new business partner. It may even be getting possible investors interested in your enterprise. Whatever your aim is, ensure that you define it clearly, so you know how to go about making it happen.

Choose The Right Event

Networking occasions aren’t all created equal. Some will offer you fantastic opportunities. Others will barely be worth your time. They could be industry-specific or open to entrepreneurs regardless of the type of business they run. A number of these events are strictly for making connections. Many others basically happen on the sidelines of conferences and trade shows.

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If you know what you’d like to get out of a networking event, you’ll be better able to select one that’ll help you achieve your goals. One of the better-known networking events in Nigeria is the Connect Nigeria Business Mixer. It happens monthly and is open to attendees from various industries.

Provide Value

A lot of entrepreneurs think that networking engagements are simply about pitching their business and products to other people. But as we’ve already pointed out, this strategy will often not yield the result you hope for. That’s because your discussion partners may quickly tell what you’re doing, and get turned off by it.

Instead, go in with the aim of providing value to whoever you talk with. Share your experience with them, give quality advice, and proffer solutions to their problems (if it’s within your scope). You may also share access to valuable connections and suggest helpful resources (like books or software).

When you do this consistently, you’ll build a reputation of being a go-to for answers pertaining to your

industry. You’ll be a problem solver—precisely what will attract clients. Then you’ll be able to land more prospects and sell more solutions to them.

Follow Up After The Event

The real work of building valuable relationships starts after networking events. That’s when you reach out to the contacts you’ve made and begin leading them down the sales funnel or nurturing nascent partnerships.

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Remain friendly and professional in your correspondence with new contacts. But your communication with them should be brief so that it doesn’t take up too much of their time. Again, keep delivering value. You can do this by sharing helpful content with prospects and answering their questions.

Final Words

You can land business deals at networking events by providing value to potential clients and partners. Do this during and after networking events, with the contacts you’ve picked up at such sessions. They will appreciate your help, and will likely become the source of valuable business deals.

If you’re looking for a networking event that could yield quality contacts for you, you should consider attending the Connect Nigeria Business Mixer. It’s a monthly gathering of forward-looking entrepreneurs, founders, and top business executives—just the kind of audience you’ll need for your brand. It’s held in a relaxed environment that’s suitable for networking.

If you’d like to find out more about the Connect Nigeria Business Mixer, click here.

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This article was first published on 15th June 2022 and updated on June 20th, 2022 at 11:17 pm


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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