5 networking tips to build better connections
Often in business it’s not what you know it’s who you know which is why networking is so important.
SMEs can utilise networking events to expand their contacts base and bring in new business without having a large marketing budget. But many business owners don’t enjoy networking or aren’t very effective when they do.
Here are some tips on how to optimise opportunities and build valuable relationships when networking:
Preparation can help calm your networking nerves. Devise a short simple way to introduce yourself and your business so you’re not lost for words. Also, research who is going to be there and write a list of people you would like to talk to.
When nervous it can be easy to go straight in for the sale but in a networking situation this can often do more harm than good. Avoid selling where you can and instead keep it informal and interesting. You can always follow up with a sales call later.
Approaching strangers can be daunting but the best way to get over your fears of networking is to bite the bullet and get talking. The more practice you have the more confident you will feel. And don’t forget that others will be in the same position as you.
People remember those who have impacted their day in a positive way so where possible try to be helpful. Whether it’s a small piece of advice or introducing your new contact to someone you know it could all help in the long run.
Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste. Always remember to follow up on your networking conversations with a phone call or email after the event or your new contacts may forget who you are.
What are your top networking tips? Please share them in the comments below.