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Originally Posted On: 15 Business Networking Tips For Greater Growth And Prosperity (insidexpress.com)
Did you know that networking is essential for your career? If you want to learn some tips on business networking, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over networking strategies to try.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
1. Go to Business Networking Events
The first step to successful networking is knowing where to make connections. Most events or activities are opportunities to network.
Small business owners or professionals should try and attend local business events.
Your city’s chamber of commerce might end up hosting gatherings for people in your industry. Go to meetings for societies or professional associations related to your field. Check out Honor Society Foundation.
2. Pick a Goal
Sit down before going to events or meetings and consider your goals.
You might want to learn about the latest developments in your industry. Some people want to donate time to their community, while others want to make new connections.
Think about what you’d like to get out of the networking event.
3. Socialize After Work Hours
When you leave work, you can still network. Expand your reach by meeting people at your local health club.
Some people make connections at their child’s school sporting event. Parents want to talk about things outside of the school event.
4. Identify Potential Icebreakers
To make a good impression, open the conversation with a compliment.
You could also ask a question and give contacts a chance to share more about their work. Ask them how they got into your field or what they think about your industry’s latest development.
5. Network With a Friend
Starting a conversation with someone new is easier if you have someone familiar with you. Do you have a friend who also wants to expand their network? Consider going to professional events together.
Make sure you actively try and meet new people. Connect with attendees instead of sitting in the corner with your friend the entire time.
6. Even Introverts Can Network
If you’re an introvert, networking can be a challenge. There are some unique strategies to try and overcome introversion.
Think about icebreakers before the event, so you don’t need ideas on the spot.
If you feel overwhelmed, take a breather. Step outside the meeting and go get a coffee, go for a walk, or call a friend. Return to the event feeling refreshed and ready to connect with new people.
7. Follow up With New Connections
After you have attended a conference and met some new people, you’ll want to maintain your relationships. Invite them to a conference. Send them a note during the holidays or a business-related article.
Reach out to new connections a few times throughout the year.
8. Stay Positive
When you start a conversation, don’t speak negatively about former coworkers.
You don’t want new contacts thinking you’re going to say bad things about them in the future.
9. Don’t Focus Solely on Yourself
No matter if you’re attending a meeting or chatting at an event, remember not to focus solely on yourself.
If you’re always asking for favors from people, your relationship with them won’t last. Look for ways to help your network further their careers, as well. People will appreciate you for thinking of them.
10. Be Direct
For your networking efforts to be successful, you’ll need to be brave enough to ask for help.
Before you attend a seminar or meetup, make sure you can describe what you’re seeking. When someone asks how they can help, tell them directly.
11. Foster Healthy Relationships
Networking isn’t only about selling yourself but developing relationships. These relationships can lead to new referrals.
People do business with people they trust. It can take a lot of time to build trust and knowledge. Approach a networking event without expectations.
12. Dress Professionally
Aim to make a good impression by dressing professionally. You don’t need to wear expensive business clothes, but try and find something a bit dressy.
Do your hair, and make sure your overall appearance looks neat.
13. Make the Most of Social Media
You can use social media to learn about important contacts in your industry. Look for like-minded people.
Comment on a recent article they posted or respond to a comment. You can start a conversation with them. When you get the opportunity to meet in person, you can reference your previous communications.
14. Thank the People You Meet
When you build a network, make sure you pass on your gratitude. Thank them for any connections they share with you.
People will remember that you thanked them. They might end up passing your name to another person in their network.
15. Ask for Advice on Expanding Your Network
One goal of networking is to tap into a wider network, instead of a couple of people. Every person you meet knows up to a hundred other people. If you get introduced to these contacts, you’ll increase your network.
The chances are, you’ll find a valuable connection in that network. Ask your contacts if they could recommend a professional organization. They also might have a few names to share with you.
Return the favor whenever possible. When you meet new people, consider how you can help them.
Now You Know More About Business Networking
We hope this guide on business networking was helpful. Now that you know how to make new business connections start looking for local events.
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