Effective Business Networking
Effective business networking can have a major impact on your business and with the New Year now upon us it’s an ideal time to look at how you’re going to attract new business and help put your profile out there. Networking is one way that can help you to achieve this.
Effective business networking does not have an exact formula. In essence, the process is a combination of different principles. The most important rule of business networking, which ironically is something always taken for granted, is being yourself. Others will positively respond to your authenticity and sincerity rather than a fake business character you may portray. After all, networking is all about building better business relationships, which require trust and honesty.
Here are some do’s and don’ts of effective business networking.
- Have a clear understanding of what you and your business can offer. People have to see the relevance of their association with you. Make it worth their time and effort.
- Join various networking groups related to your niche. Integrate yourself to groups so you can widen your reach and meet people that you can help and help you in return. Joining groups will give you various opportunities to present yourself and your business.
- Prepare your business cards. Your business card is your ID. Make sure you always have several on hand. When you exchange cards with others, it’s ideal to write a short description of the other person on the back of their business card.
- Take advantage of a number of social media platforms. These include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These three can also help in targeting the right people you want to attract.
- Be mindful of your manners and wear the appropriate dress code for the industry you are a part of.
- Steer clear of hot topics like politics and religion.
- Talk about yourself all the time. It’s important to remember that business networking is not a dating service. You are representing a business so you should talk about it. Also, it’s important that you listen to others to build an easy rapport.
- Treat networking as a social function. It’s for business, first and foremost. Don’t drink a lot or treat the event like a party.
- Sell your product or service upfront. Its business networking, not direct selling. There’s a big difference between the two.
- Rely too much on the internet. When you nurture the relationships you started with networking, it’s always best to do it face-to-face, although a follow up email is appropriate.
Follow these guidelines to successfully touch base with the who’s who in your networking group.
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