Make networking an art . . . not an accident.
Today there are all types of opportunities to meet people and strengthen business connections, but it’s only with time and patience that these relationships will thrive and flourish, but naturally like anything good, this takes some effort.
Many business owners do not like networking and some chose to avoid it altogether but I would suggest that you plan ahead and attend events with a goal or objective in mind, this might be to catch up with some existing or old clients/customers/friends or meet new contacts, but remember it’s not about selling, that’s so yesterday’s networking!
Some tips to make your networking easy.
Find opportunities to introduce your existing contacts to each other, those that have similar interests and backgrounds or those who might be able to work together collaboratively. Being the introducer not only feels good, but it also will ultimately strengthen your core network and expand it.
Connect with the people who want to genuinely get to know you as a person, these are the people who will help you in the future, they care about what you do and say. Make a time to meet up on a regular basis, you can’t become ‘best friends’ with someone by putting in occasional appearance every few months.
Keep in touch regularly with your contacts, find some common ground and keep up-to-date and informed. Schedule some 1-2-1 time, to learn from them what they are working on, or about new projects, ask questions and be genuinely curious to find out more about their business. Talk to people, understand their challenges and give them enough time to feel like they are connecting to you. By knowing what they’re looking for and finding opportunities to help them, you’ll notice that you will build your network a lot quicker.
The people that like you because you’re willing to stay and chat for a bit are those who are more likely to contribute resources, offer opportunities and there is a greater chance that they will call you when they need someone with your expertise.
Networking is a great way to get your name out there and connect with other entrepreneurs who can mutually be of benefit to each other, it’s by far the quickest way to grow your business. The easiest and perhaps the best way to network is to be yourself, be genuine, supportive and helpful, without looking for anything in return, you’ll soon notice that you are quickly building your network.
So don’t forget to mingle, chat and turn your phone off or set it to vibrate and doing good business is about building great business relationships.
Thrive - developing connections for growth
If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 01603 597727