Become a Top Wedding Planner – How NOT to Network

 

You can’t become a top wedding planner without doing some networking to find clients and vendors.  To be seen as someone good to do business with, you need to know what to do when you are out networking.  Last week, on the television show Ugly Betty, Betty was charged with meeting and getting business cards from 40 people.  She was told by a co-worker to be a “contact getting machine”.  She was to introduce herself, give a memorable bit of juicy, not necessarily true, information, get information from the other person, then get out.  She did that but it turned out that the best contact she made was with someone she had taken the time to get to know better.

Here are some networking mistakes I’ve seen people make:

  • Like Betty, some people set a goal of getting or give a certain number of business cards by the end of an event.  They don’t bother finding out if the person is a good contact for them.  I’ve been to events where people just go from one person to another and hand them their card without even speaking to them.   Don’t feel you need to meet everyone at a networking event.  Stop and talk to a few people and arrange a coffee meeting if you think the two of you would benefit from a business relationship.
  • They decide that certain professionals will be of no value to them and don’t bother to meet them.  When I told one man I was a wedding planner, he said that I wouldn’t be able to help him.  When I found out what he did, it turned out I could.  He was in a technology field and I had done events for a similar business before I became a wedding planner.  Many people know engaged couples or people who might need help planning an event.  Don’t walk away just because someone doesn’t work in a similar field.
  • On more than one occasion a wedding vendor has discovered that I’m a wedding planner and has said to me, “you can give us referrals” and handed me a business card.  They did not talk about their products or services or have an interest in setting up a meeting.  I don’t refer people unless I know they are good, I’m sure you wouldn’t either. I never referred any of them.

So, go out and network but be sure you do it in a professional way so it actually brings you good business relationships and not just a pocket full of business cards.



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