Effective networking involves connecting with like minded individuals. It involves meeting people and having the ability to tell them who you are and what you do in a precise and interesting manner.
Below, are “10 Simple Effective Tips for Business Networking:”
1. Business cards
Always carry your business cards with you. Networking opportunities can present themselves at parties, church, social events and even in elevators. Be ready to connect at every turn.
Talk to everyone everywhere. You never know who someone is until you start speaking with them. For example, I met one of my clients in front of the merry go round at a local entertainment park. Socialize wherever you go.
Don’t sit with friends at meetings. You can speak with them any time of the week. Try to sit by new people at each networking function so you can get to know them. You never know who can become a connection when you interact with other people who may be interested in what you have to offer.
4. Set a goal
Give yourself goals. Meet five (or more) new people at each event. Most people at different events have a social/networking time before an official meeting begins. Make it a point to approach and exchange business cards with the people you meet. Ensure your business cards have your website and social media URLs.
5. Be a good listener
Listening has become a lost art. Everyone is in such a hurry to make a sale that they forget one important point: You can’t sell to someone until you get to know who they are. Most people won’t do business with strangers, so become a friend first and foremost. Don’t just hear what they have to say but listen to their needs. A good listener can learn a lot about an person with undivided attention.
6. Be a good giver
What can you do to help others? Is your offer relative to their needs? If yes then great. If not, refer them to someone else you might know who can. When you offer help and give people options, they will remember it.
7. Build your people skills
People skills are important. The art of knowing how to deal with people is key to a successful business. Be friendly, sincere, warm, and caring. These are all the qualities needed to achieve success.
8. Think of networking as an investment
Networking is gold. Through networking, you are able to make new friends and gain business associates. Give it time and before you know it, you’ll have a large following of individuals who are interested in your business. Your networking efforts will pay off in the long run.
9. Make networking an active behavior
Being a wallflower is not effective online or offline when it comes to networking. Make the effort to reach out and interact with people. You’ll be surprised how relieved other people will be if they too are hesitant to make the first move. Imagine the possibility of getting to know someone who might be a loyal follower, friend and/or customer for life.
10. Be concise and memorable
It’s a turnoff when someone keeps bragging about his/her business especially if you can’t understand what they’re talking about. Introduce yourself in “layman’s terms,” without industry jargon, and keep it simple. You might consider saying something funny, clever, and unique about yourself so that people will remember who you are and what you do. The main purpose of networking, is to connect with people on a professional yet friendly manner for progressive gain.
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at Books About Me. Sign up for the newsletter and never miss a powerful business marketing article plus receive a FREE eBook on ‘How to Rock Your Business with A Blog’.
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