Over the last twelve months or so I have attended many business networking events. Although a little apprehensive in a room filled with strangers, learning to master business networking has unlocked a wealth of advantages in terms of business success.
In my experience, the more people you meet at business networking events, the greater the odds of finding the best customers, products, services and client leads. Networking in business is now both an art and a science whether it’s one-to-one conversations or selling your business to complete strangers.
If like me you are planning or starting to go to more networking events, here are a few tips to help you out:-
- Show up early – make a good first impression before people start producing their business cards.
- Take your business cards – be professional and always have your business cards at hand.
- Log your contacts – schedule 30 minutes within 24 hours of a networking event to add people to your address book.
- Follow up – to build a worthwhile networking relationship, follow up on introductions, leads and business connections.
Before attending your first business networking event, do a little research online. Find out more about the power of business networking and how to improve the performance and practicability of your own business.
Advantages of business networking
Learning how to effectively network for business can significantly increase the number of new leads you generate. This is ideal for entrepreneurs, start-ups and a good way to get onto the fast track for your business dreams. By attending networking events, you stand a better chance of meeting someone who can help your business grow.
Building up a network of business professional associates isn’t hard to do. Probably every friend, manager or colleague you’ve had in your lifetime is already in your network. Searching and adding them on a social media platform such as LinkedIn means you will already have a substantial network behind you before attending an event.
To make the most out of network events in 2018, work out which type of connections you need to expand your business and learn more about tips for networking effectively, like:-
- Don’t forget quality over quantity – maximise the leads you generate from a networking event by knowing which kind of connections you want to make and what you want to get out of them.
- Ask meaningful questions – business networking events are a great opportunity to perfect your social skills. Ask meaningful questions whether during the event itself or small talk afterwards.
- Always be helpful – remember business networking isn’t just about what you can get out of a contact. It’s also what you can offer too. After you shake hands with your ideal contact, ask how you can help them.
- Make an effort to listen – there’s no point attending a business networking event if you don’t listen to what’s being said in the room. There’s so much to take in on these occasions that your mind may start to wander. Keep focused and you’ll find that your business will benefit in the long run.
Making the most out of business networking in 2018 could be the key to a successful year so go for it.