Business Networking Tips | How To Network Like A Rock Star: Strategies You Never Want To Forget
Business Networking Tips | Business networking is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use to grow your business. Of course, if done poorly, it can actually be harmful to your brand. Keep in mind that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. Companies don’t make decisions, people do. Whether you’re just starting a business, or trying to grow your client base, networking events are a vital part of the game.
Running a new business can be very daunting, but one thing that doesn’t have to be is growing your referral network. It can be your most effective source of new business and increased revenue, and a crucial element of your small business identity. Walking into a group of strangers, extending your hand, and introducing yourself can be nerve-wrecking for many. Others love the experience of meeting new people, and dive right into business networking events with elan and skill. No matter where you fall on this continuum, you can boost your networking skills. Woody Allen said that “80% of success is showing up,” and here is what you should do with the other 20%.
Take Your Business Cards | Business Networking Tips
How often do you meet people at events who fumble in their dog-eared wallet, and eventually mumble, ‘Oh, I don’t seem to have one with me.’ Be prepared. Bring plenty of business cards with you, but only give them to people who show a real interest in what you do. Brochures, or printed postcards can also be effective, depending on your business. Handing out a business card is a trade: you should get one in return. Don’t be the sad soul who left their business cards in the desk drawer for the umpteenth time.
Arrive Early | Business Networking Tips
It’s almost counter-intuitive, but showing up early at a networking event is a much wiser idea than getting there on the later side. As one of the first attendees, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet. If you arrive early, you have a chance to interact one-on-one with a few other visitors before all of the noise and bustle sets in. You also have the luxury of making the first impression in people’s minds before they are drowning in business cards and handshakes.
Ditch The Sales Pitch | Business Networking Tips
Remember, networking is all about building relationships. Keep your approach fun, light, and casual – you don’t have to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting someone. People do business with those they know and trust, and it can take some time to build up that knowledge and trust. So, go to networking events without any expectations of getting new business.
Remind Yourself: You’re There To Give, Not Get | Business Networking Tips
The goal of networking should be to help other people. Yes, it would be great if they helped you out as well, but networking is a two–way street. When people in your network get stronger, you get stronger. By helping people in your network get stronger, they may be in a better position to be able to help you down the road. Asking for favors should only become a possibility once you have learned more about the person, and provided some value to them.
Connect With Everyone (And Never Look Over Anyone’s Shoulder) | Business Networking Tips
Maybe your goal is to find a new job as a community manager, but you’re “stuck” talking to an IT engineer. Don’t write off the opportunity. Your goal should be a diverse group of people from whom you can learn. Other business owners, and professionals have a lot to teach and share when an individual is open to learning and change ideas.
Building Relationships Takes Time | Business Networking Tips
It’s often said that networking is where the conversation starts, not ends. If you’ve had a good exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to keep in touch. Follow up is a must, but easier said than done. When you meet a person who you think will strengthen your business, you should be in touch at least once a quarter. If you make a good connection with someone, after the event, send a note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. If appropriate, send an article or some kind of information that they might find helpful.