5 tips for successful business networking

Do you need to grow your business?

Whether you are looking for business partners, suppliers or customers, you are looking for people, not organisations.

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This article offers 5 tips on how to be successful in your business networking.

The fundamental rule of business states as follows:

People do business with people they know, like, trust and value.

If you want to become one of the persons that people love doing business with, you need to network correctly and efficiently.

The worst business networking mistake is to start networking only when you really need a network. If you did that, it’s already too late.

Your main goal is to become a magnet, which attracts people and resources: money, ideas, opportunities, information etc. What does it take to become a magnet? Invest your time and energy to develop a strong network of contacts.

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Here are our 5 tips for successful business networking:

  1. Set your business networking goals

Setting effective business networking goals are an absolute must if you are to get full value for your time and money from your business networking activities. What do you want to achieve by attending a particular event?

Here are a few goals: talk specifically to a person; find persons that can introduce you to a particular organisation etc.

  1. Research attendees before the event

Look them up and check their social media profiles. Find out what they are interested in whether it’s professionally or personally: passions, hobbies, how they like spending their time. Read their blog posts and learn about their challenges and goals.

Find what you have in common with them or how you can help them reach their goals.

  1. 60 seconds presentation

Who are you and what is your business? What do you love about your job? We know you are passionate about your business and you could talk about it for hours, but can you do it in 60 seconds?

Make your presentation short and sweet: be concise, to the point and find a detail about yourself that will help the other person remember you.

  1. Listen and ask open-ended questions

Use the details you found online about this person’s career or business to start the conversation. Ask open-ended questions and be genuinely interested in the person you are talking to.

Remember: people will forget your name, but will never forget how you made them feel.

  1. Follow-up within 48 hours

Don’t let your networking efforts go to waste: follow-up! Connect with them on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Ask them to join you for coffee after work and continue the conversation.

Build a relationship by being authentic and a valuable source of information.

Conclusions:

  • Build your professional network before you need one;
  • Networking is only effective when it is mutually beneficial;
  • Successful business networking is about what you can do for them;
  • Offer advice and helpful insights;
  • Spend time and effort to build an authentic relationship;
  • Networking is not about selling!
  • Networking is a full-time activity no matter your business field.

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Networking is possibly one of the most important soft skills for entrepreneurs.

Master it and it will help you grow your business and improve your personal life!