Business networking is a skill, an art in itself. It’s the big gun in the arsenal of any established and respected businessman. It takes years to build and sustain valuable business relationships and the end result of this labor can be the difference between a successful and sinking business.
These tips will surely help you in achieving that pivotal step of business networking.
1- Filter Your Contacts
On an average a businessman knows 80-100 people in his field. It is very crucial to know as to who among them can help you grow as a person and as an entrepreneur. These small groups with your colleagues or customers, are the contacts who are very dear to your career. Discern these critical few and make a point to contact them regular, at least 3-4 times a year. A close knitted group of 10 will help you more than the 100 you talk to once in blue moon.
2- Lend a Helping Hand
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Being in someone’s good books means that they are more likely to help you. It is all about give and take. Amid your critical few, identify the ones who you can personally help. Even something as little as introducing them to someone can help you form a mutually beneficial and lasting bond.
3- Organize Your Remaining Contacts
After you’ve filtered out the most important people you know, work rest of your list. Arrange them on grounds of how much they help you and vice-versa. Send them a company mail once in a while. Make sure to greet them in all social gatherings and don’t be afraid to ring them occasionally. This is a baby step towards a full-fledged relationship with human paragons.
4- Think People Not Positions
You might know people who are extraordinary. They might be smart, some might be ambitious and some very resourceful. In the coming years these very people are going to be the leaders. They will be the head honchos. It’s a lot easier to know someone and form a connection early in their career than breaking into their inner circle and just building relation because they have reached somewhere. Don’t follow positions, even if they don’t climb the corporate ladder as you expected, you’d still have a very interesting relationship.
5- Do Not Be Terrified of Social Gatherings
A little bit of anxiety is totally understandable before attending a social gathering. You don’t know anyone and it’s impenetrable to get a conversation flowing when all you have is a marketing pitch. Remember, you are not alone. Almost everyone there is thinking selfsame. Be confident and have small “elevator speech” ready. Make a point to bring enough business cards.
6- It’s Never Too Late to Be Active on Social Media
No matter what your personal opinion on social media is, it’s still a very crucial part of any business. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts are a must have. With the help of these media accounts you can understand your competition and how they interact with their patrons. If you can identify and fill a niche that would be the ideal affair otherwise just emulate what appears to be the most effective approach. A small business should start with handling the social media accounts personally rather than hiring someone to do it, at least in the early stages.
7- Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you think you’re done with networking, this is where you go wrong. A magnate is never done with networking because he knows it is unending. He knows networking has always been a very crucial part of any business. This is the difference between a struggling upstart and a human paragon. Try connecting with new people and don’t be afraid to ask others to introduce you to someone new. Set a goal to meet new people in different industry and assess yourself later in the year. Many young and new businessmen often get so focused in their work that meeting new people seems like a futile exercise, but meeting people irrespective of their work can bring about a fresh new outlook.
The Bottom Line:
Now that you understand why business networking is important, try all these pointers. They are sure to make a big difference in your approach. Keep this in mind that the opposite of networking is Not Working! All your efforts will be worth it in the end.