One Aspect That’s Worthy Of Nurturing – Your Network
You can be the best in any business, but it can be a long hard road if no one knows who you are. Some of us are too shy to walk into a roomful of strangers while others are unsure about how to strike up a conversation. Know that feeling?
So with some simple strategies, you can become the networking guru and build a quality database of people you have actually connected with.
1. Remember to smile. It opens up your ‘front door’ and makes you a lot more approachable. Happy smiling people actually attract others to them.
2. Wear a name badge. Not only does it make you more professional but it helps others to remember your name and assist with marketing if it is branded with your logo.
3. Offer them a business card – why wait for the request? You’ve got more to lose by not offering your card and you may strike up a conversation.
4. Position yourself where people are likely to congregate like the bar or a trade table. Nobody will walk over to the corner to find you.
5. Show a genuine interest in the other person and remember to ask questions about them. This is not a time to be a salesperson but rather getting to know the other person and connecting.
6. Listen to others twice as often as you talk.
7. Befriend the first timers and make them welcome. They will certainly remember your kind gesture.
8. Follow up! This is really important step however only 1 in 10 people ever follow up with people they’ve met at a networking event. Often it is better to request a one-on-one meeting to better discuss any synergy at a quieter time rather than during a networking function.
Networking is all about building connections and relationships, and each little thing you can do towards this makes a huge difference in the quality of your connections. One of the best forums to network with B2B clients is by joining a local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary or other local business referral organisations i.e. BNI etc. And never under-estimate the value of your network within LinkedIn – there are many groups and often they meet locally in a face to face situation. This will open the door to many opportunites.