As a business owner, learning the importance of networking/relationship building is vital to YOU and YOUR business. By learning the 7 Necessary & Important Things For Networking you will be ahead of everyone else.
I find that most people are unaware of importance on how they are perceived when networking. Are you a go-giver or a go-taker?
7 Tips on Networking:
1 ALWAYS understand why you are networking
2 KNOW why you are going to an event
3 ARRIVE early for an event and NEVER leave early
4 GIVE without expectation of return
5 UNDERSTAND your demographic so you are in the right place
6 BUSINESS CARDS are your shop window
7 FOLLOW UP is the most important part of networking
- ALWAYS understand why you are networking
I find when networking that people do not really understand what they want from networking or the event they are attending. Setting goals prior to attending is a MUST. Attending events and being ‘out there’ is a marketing exercise. Ask yourself WHY you are there, WHAT you want to achieve and HOW will be know if you have achieved it?
Firstly, I believe you are there so that you can grow your relationship contacts and inform others of what you do and where you need and want support to achieve the outcome you want. Gaining information, a network, knowledge and business growth is all important. You are not there to SPAM people or to EXPECT a return until you have gained the TRUST that you and your business deserve.
- KNOW what you want from an event
Are you attending to make new business acquaintances, for career advancement, to make more money, to help others, to gain a better profile etc? This is very important as you will networking differently dependent on why you are there and what you are looking to achieve. So be very clear as to why you are networking and how you can give the right message.
- ARRIVE early for an event and NEVER leave early
The greatest gift you can give yourself is to arrive early and be supportive to the person running the event. By being there and looking as if you know what you are doing can give you an influence that you would not necessarily have. This will be dependent on your personality style and the type of event you are attending.
I suggest that people mark out in their diary half an hour prior and half an hour after an event to make sure that they get the full benefit. The best networking is always after an event when people are totally relaxed and sure of the environment. Arriving late and leaving early will always be noted so I suggest that you do not attend if it is a first or second time event and you do not know others there.
- GIVE without expectation of return
The most important thing when networking is to give without expectation of return. You give to support others in the best way you can without any obligations. If people like and trust you they will want to give to you in whatever way they are able. This may be in the form of a referral, a testimonial, purchasing your products/services or something else. If people feel that they are obliged to give, then they probably will not.
- UNDERSTAND your demographic so you are in the right place
It is important to understand your demographics. Know your target market and niche within that market. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make in networking. They often are in the wrong place for them and who they are wishing to meet.
- BUSINESS CARDS are your shop window
I am surprised at the number of people who say to me ‘I do not have a business card as I do not need one’. I am usually rather shocked when I hear that from a small business owner, even a successful one. To me, it is arrogant and I wonder how their business is really progressing.
Your business card is your shop window. It is the way people can make contact if they need to or pass on your information to someone else. I am always happy to pass on a business card to someone if I feel that it will be useful to them.
NEVER run out of cards. This in business is inexcusable. I believe that if you are a networker you need to be spreading your cards around as much as possible. You never know who may want to make contact with you. Be aware that your branding needs to be on your business card, your website, your social media, your emails etc. Remember, your card is your shop window and you will be judged on them.
- FOLLOW UP is an important part of networking
This is a factor that many forget. Do not ever assume that someone will make contact. If you want to know them, be the first to show them. Find them on Social Media and connect with them if they are people who you feel you have a synergy. Get to know them and their marketplace. Meet them for a coffee or drink to learn more about them and their product/service if not for you, for your clients and friends.
If you want to know more and would like to discuss this further, feel free to call for a free strategic networking 15 minute session.
Ready to take yourself and your business to the next level? Let me know!
I’m happy to help you get started. I’m just a phone call away, CALL +61 414-278-344
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