What is Networking for business?
There are lots of methods of marketing but most will agree, effective networking is one of the best.
Networking for business is a chance to talk to people; nothing more, nothing less. What is most important is how you approach that conversation.
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How can I get the most out of Networking?
Be generous and be prepared to give rather than receive; it's surprising how much comes back when you do that. Network whenever and wherever you can.
Find groups or events where you feel comfortable, you will be more relaxed there and more likely to establish positive relationships and contacts.
Keep going back to the groups and events where you feel comfortable as well as taking yourself out of your comfort zone and going where you aren't necessarily the most comfortable; you never know who you will meet that may be a valuable contact for you.
Continuity of connection and being personable are two significant weapons in your networking arsenal.
If you find yourself standing alone, look for a friendly face or a group of people you can join. If you see someone standing alone bring them into your conversation, they will feel more comfortable and be grateful to you.
If someone ‘takes you under their wing' don't stick to them like glue for the remainder of the event.
Be prepared for human nature. Not everyone will like you and you won't like everyone you meet.
How do I generate business from Networking?
Remember that the true networking ethos is that you should not be trying to ‘sell' to the person you are talking to.
What you are aiming to achieve is for that person to become a member of your unpaid sales force by referring business to you, because you have taken the time to build a relationship with them and establish the all important trust on which referrals are based.
Top Tips for Networking
- Networking is about being genuine, authentic, building trust and relationships and helping others
- Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings
- Pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for
- Visit groups that spark your interest, do the people sound supportive of one another?
- Ask open-ended questions whilst networking - these encourage conversation
- Become known as a powerful resource for others
- Have a clear understanding of what you do and why - prepare your elevator pitch
- Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you
- Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given, when people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection of them
- Call those you meet 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
- Have fun relax and enjoy the event!