Successful Business Networking

Successful Business Networking

It doesn’t matter what business you are in – whether it’s an on-line business, an MLM or a storefront, networking is essential to your business’ success. It’s a matter of trust and relationship building. People have to know you and trust you in order to refer business to you.

Successful Business Networking – Commonsense ideas to help you become a better networker:

  1. In order to gain the trust of others, you need to be genuine. Be honest. Find out about the other person, listen to their needs and see if there is a way you can help them.
  2. Determine what your goals are before participating in networking events. If you know what you want to gain, it’s easier to determine what kinds of events you need to attend. Are you trying to learn something new and make contacts? Or are you interested in making business connections? Figure that out before you go.
  3. Check out lots of different types of groups. Go to local Chamber of Commerce mixers to see if there is a fit. Meet- up groups offer just about any kind of networking you can imagine or see if there is a local BNI chapter in your area. Many groups will allow you to visit a couple of times before joining.
  4. Volunteer! This is a great way to connect with people while giving back at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.
  5. Be the go to person. When you are known as a great resource, people will come to you for suggestions, ideas, referrals, etc. That keeps you visible.
  6. When networking, ask open-ended questions. Ask who, what, where, when and how questions – not just questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Then listen to the response! People love a good listener and it shows that you are interested.
  7. Be able to articulate what it is that you do and what you are looking for from others. Be clear about your business and what makes you special. And be clear about what kind of referrals you are looking for. You need to know exactly what you want in order to communicate it to others.
  8. Follow through is imperative. When you get business cards or meet people at an event, call or send an e-mail the next day just to let them know you appreciated meeting them. It doesn’t have to be a long-winded call – just a quick hello to make you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
  9. If you get a referral, follow-up on it within 24 to 48 hours. If someone refers you, and you let it go, that reflects badly on the person who gave it to you. If you are prompt and attentive, you will receive many more referrals!
  10. If you meet someone who may benefit from what you do, or vice versa, make an appointment and get together with them to share ideas.
  11. And last, but certainly not least, smile when you are introduced to someone. Be welcoming and make them feel that you are really glad to have the opportunity to meet them. That one small thing can start things off on the right foot – and can lead to a great business relationship.

These are simple techniques but when put into practice, they can really help you. Just follow these ideas for successful business networking and it won’t be long before your business really starts to grow!