Business networking is one of the most interactive and successful approaches to market yourself and building relationships. By attending events, meeting like open-minded individuals and interacting with different people you can share, discover and learn new things. Successful business networking is the linking collectively of persons who, through faith and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another. These people can be your potential clients, consultants, workers or even business partners.
Apart from this, business networking activities also brings the opportunity to meet potential customers and clients, as well as prospective business suppliers. Business networking events can create symbiotic relationships among colleagues and associates that can foster new ideas or resolve current issues in your industry.
Here are 10 useful guidelines tips to help you improve your networking skills and extend your reach:
1. Plan your Networking
It is important to know exactly what you want before joining a network meeting; as it will be useful in evaluating and choosing a potential networking group. Some meetings are just for learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
2. Keep your Integrity
Bear in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic; Building trust and relationship is a vital part of a strong business network.
3. Connect with People
Connect with as many groups as possible; Try to identify and target groups and connections which cater to your interests. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive to each other? Does the leadership appear proficient? Some group permits you to visit them before joining.
4. Sustained Focused Effort
Occasional light involvement has little impact, but focused continuous efforts can pull off a visible profile and build many connections.
5. Be Expressive
You should have a clear thoughts of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes you doing it exceptional or diverse from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you should have a clear ideas of what you perform; that you can simply articulate to your business clients.
6. Be a Powerful Resource For Others
Try to be a powerful referral resource; by being so you will attract different people within the network. The people in your networks will always turn to you for suggestions, ideas and acquaintances.
7. Follow Up
Be in touch with those who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas. Follow up is a matter of relevance and commitment; it produces good results, builds trust, reputation and relationships.
8. Open-Ended Questions in Networking Conversations
By asking open-ended questions, the responder gets the opportunity to express themselves more openly and honestly. It also enhances the level of cooperation and understanding. Open-ended questions have an inviting quality and they encourage genuine responses.
9. Show Your Gratitude
You should always call or send mail to those clients you meet who may get benefits from what you do and vice versa. Convey that you enjoyed meeting with them and request for another business meetings with them to share business related ideas.
10. Hold Volunteer Positions in Organizations
Always prioritize helping and giving to others as ‘what goes around comes around’. Hold volunteer positions in organizations; by doing so you will stay visible.
Always remember that, it takes some time to build up a healthy relationship whether a business or a personal relationship, never anticipate your networking to go great guns in a matter of just few days or months, occasionally it even takes some years to make that great relationship to get business going successfully.