Want to see your company rise among your competitors?
Then you need to know how to have a secure business networking.
It’s a fact of life, the people you meet each day, are either:
Going to help you sprout;
Or leave you broken.
That implies in the world of business as well.
Don’t you agree?
So, let’s see what ten tips you need to know for successful business networking:
Choose a Networking Event Fit for Your Company
Life is about trial and error.
Even with business networking!
You keep trying one thing after the other until you find the one thing or path that’s right for you.
However, don’t waste too much time going to events where there aren’t people you want or need to connect.
If you are a startup company like PennySaviour, and it’s your first networking, you can try it out; get the feel of it.
But for more success, I suggest looking through the attendees' list, if you can.
That way you’ll know if the people relevant to your business are going to be in attendance, and you can spend your time building relations that will help you grow.
Set Your Goals for the Networking Meetings
Having a thought out plan in mind helps you make the best of your time.
When you have your essential networking meeting picked out, try to set your goals on what you hope to accomplish by the end of the night.
There is more than just one type of groups at these events. So, you need to know what it is you are after.
Do you merely want to build connections for future reference or are you trying to gain information, resources; volunteering, perhaps?
If you have a set plan, it’ll help you know which groups to reach out.
Don’t Be a Wallflower
When you’re going to a networking event, you can’t wallow in the background.
Don’t be shy or flustered.
Instead, turn on the charm and be the confident, funny, appealing version of yourself and interact with as many people as you can.
You are meeting these people for the first time. So, making a good, lasting impression is essential.
Not only will it improve your prospects but also help you make yourself known and remembered.
If you’re nervous about a big group, then start out with smaller ones of two to three people.
Or you could look for someone standing by themselves.
They’ll be glad you approached them, and you’ll start being more confident.
Two birds, one stone – what could be better?
Chat with More than Just One Group
Business networking involves meeting people.
If you’re a regular attendee, then don’t spend the entire time catching up with old friends.
What you should do is:
- Spread out;
- Talk to new faces;
- And, lastly, build your network.
You can spend about ten minutes with each person, get to know them, then move on and let them network as well.
Keep in mind to exchange business cards before you leave, but unless you intend to, don’t promise to contact them.
Additionally, you should learn to read the people, notice the tone and attitude and ask yourself:
- Are they supportive of one another?
- Does the leader sound competent?
Be Genuine; Not Fake
Networking is about building lasting relations.
You don’t just end them when you are done with them. That is just asking for bad karma.
What you should do is be open, honest, and genuine.
Business networking isn’t all about giving out the best elevator pitch and boasting about your skills and success.
If you are sincerely interested in what the other party is saying, their work, products, inventions, and their life in general then you have a solid start to a lasting relationship.
Then you can move on to your goals and aspirations.
You can be sure they’ll be attentive, just because you listened to them first.
After networking events, you want people to remember you.
What’s the point of making contacts, if they forget who you are the minute you leave?
One way to do that is continually being on the move.
It’ll get people to notice you; although, you also don’t want to be made a fool of in front of all those people.
So, the course of action to follow is to be:
You’ll be visible and remembered – the primary goal of business networking.
Secondly, try and be original, unique.
For instance, just because it is a black-tie event, doesn’t mean you can’t have a different colored tie.
Don’t be a stickler for rules…
At least, not when you are trying to build connections!
Lastly, you could come up with amusing anecdotes.
Or, be witty, crack jokes, share fun facts if you know any.
Just being different than the norm, will help you stand out, and remembered.
Remember the goal is to make a lasting impression for a lasting relationship and increasing your network.
Know What You Do, Why, For Whom, and What Makes You Exceptional
It is expected that people are going to ask you questions.
So, you should know your business, your customers, and why you are different.
However, knowing is not enough.
You need to be articulate enough to be able to express your thoughts in the best way possible.
What I mean is if you can’t explain your thoughts, what is the point of you knowing anything?
It’s not like the other person can read your mind…
Or, can they?
If you are precise and clear, people are more likely to be interested in knowing more.
Contrarily, if you give a vague explanation right off the bat…
Well, there’s always next time, right?
It’s important to remember that almost everyone there is from top companies.
Meaning they are bombarded with emails, calls, messages from a million other people day in and day out.
So, you should be eloquent enough to make them willing to give you the time of day.
If they listen, understand, and like your pitch, well then you’re going to be busy with an influx of referrals, my friend.
Ask Open-ended Questions
I think this explains itself.
But, if not, then let me explain.
When you ask questions that can be answered with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ then it leads to what we call:
An awkward silence!
With yes or no, it can be difficult to carry on the conversation – making that question a dead end.
So, I advise…
Stick to questions with how, why, when, where, what, and who.
The person is motivated into giving you a detailed explanation of whatever it is you asked.
Because, you sounded interested; thereby, encouraging them to share their thoughts.
These questions will open up discussions, and lead to a more favorable outcome; and a more significant business network.
Be a Valuable Resource for Others
People like those who have helped them one way or the other.
Previously, I mentioned ways to be remembered; being resourceful is also a strategy to apply.
When you prove yourself as a reliable resource, people will be drawn to you by default.
You’ll be the one whom they come to for advice, tips for businesses, new ideas, and anything they query.
Best of all, you’ll be the one known as the one with all the answers, the go-to guy or gal; instead of, a newbie networker, reeking of desperation.
Don’t Procrastinate on Referrals
When you build connections, you are bound to get referrals from those in your network.
That is the whole point of the event – to get more exposure and expand your customer base.
So, if you procrastinate on your referrals, what’s the expected outcome?
You’ll leave a wrong impression. Not just for yourself, but also the individual who referred you.
When your contacts take the chance to refer their clients or relatives to you, there are potentially handing over their reputation and risking the respect they have gained.
Honor the trust they put in you and try to be as responsive as possible with your referrals.
Now, are you ready to build your network?
Principally for secure connections, be confident and sure of you. If you seem nervous or flustered, people are going overlook you; no matter how great of a businessperson you are.
So, keep these ten tips for successful networking in mind, and you are sure to have a smooth ride to success.
Author Bio: Haziqa Ishtiaq is a content writer for Perks Logic – a digital marketing agency– with an interest in Genetic Counseling and literature. She has written many blogs for various genres, including technology, fashion, and e-Commerce, published on many authentic blog sites.