Tips for Networking So You Can Focus on Growing Your Business
Networking with other companies is one of the most valuable things you can do for your business. It not only increases your visibility and sales but also increases your business knowledge. And it’s a lot easier than you think! Check out these business networking tips below.
Why should we network?
You have the opportunity to meet hundreds, if not thousands of people who can help further you in your professional life when you network.
Initially, networking can be intimidating. But after you’ve networked a few times, your comfort level at events increases. You will probably start to see a lot of the same faces, and eventually feel comfortable asking someone if you can call them up and meet with them privately. This is the core of networking; building a relationship that could lead to a new client, your first investor or a referral.
Give more than you get
When you meet new people at networking events, ask others about themselves. Listen to who they are and what they do. This helps you build relationships based on reciprocity and gives you a chance to learn about their business, goals, interests, and styles of doing business. Start off a conversation asking about them, rather than offering information about yourself.
Don’t just give a quick hello and a “here’s my card if you want to meet up sometime for coffee”. Be invested in wanting to learn more about that person.
To build relationships, you must be visible. Volunteer yourself to be a featured speaker, walk the room and be social. Connections aren’t made by hiding in a corner!
Get into a group and bring value to others.
Attend lots of events and meet a lot of people
Go to as many networking events as you can. Not only can you attend in-person events, but over the last 2 years, online networking has become a very popular trend. Choose your groups strategically; not each group will be a perfect fit for you. If a networking group offers a free session or event, be sure to attend to get a feel for how the group operates and who attends.
In order to get the most value out of networking, follow up is essential. Email or personally call each person you met after each event and thank them for their time. Impress them even more by mentioning something personal they shared with you. For example, “how was that weekend camping trip you said you were going on? We should schedule some time to chat; I’d love to hear more about your trip and your business”. Don’t let too much time pass between when you attend the event and when you follow up. People attend a lot of events, and if you wait too long, they may not remember who you are.
Networking is an amazing way to build your business. Using the tips above will help you get the most ROI from your networking experience.