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How To Network For Business

Business networking is so effective for making new connections, developing relationships and for making more sales.

Do a quick online search, and you will hundreds, if not thousands, of business networking groups based up and down the country, and for years (centuries maybe), sales people have always understood the benefits of business networking.

In this article, I wanted to share with you some of my top tips on how you can become more effective at networking, and how you can make the most out of your networking investment!

(although this article has been written predominately for face to face networking, there is a lot in here that can be taken away for virtual or video networking too)

  • Patience

If you are ever going to see a positive return on your networking efforts, you need to understand that networking is all about developing relationships over the long-term. It is very rare you are going to make any sales on one night of networking!

Instead, use it as an opportunity to develop relationships, make connections – and always remember that the people you are talking to have a vast network of people that COULD become your next customer.

  • Listen, and then talk

As the old saying goes; we are born with two ears, and one mouth for a reason. The best networkers know that it is best to listen more than you talk.

Be the person in the room that is asking questions about others, that is actively listening and is genuinely caring. You will still get your chance to talk; but no-one wants to be known as ‘that one’ that wouldn’t shut up!

  • Work the room

It can be quite tempting to gravitate towards people you already know, and already have a relationship with. It can also be tempting to stick with the people you have already hit it off and have a good rapport with. However, doing this can be deadly; before long, the networking event is over and you have spent your time talking to just three people.

Instead, work the room. Speak to strangers. Get people whom look uncomfortable involved in discussions. The more you do this, the more connections you will make.

  • First impressions count

You only get one opportunity to make a good first impression, and this applies to both virtual and physical networking. Therefore, treat your networking like any other important sales meeting. Dress up for the occasion. Brush your teeth (or carry some mints). Arrive on time, or early where possible. And always wear an approachable smile.

  • Follow up (in the right way)

Now this step is the most important – especially if done the right way.

You have attended the event, gathered business cards, and made some great new connections; it’s time now to follow up with the people you spoke with.

We aren’t talking about adding them to your automatic marketing emailing system, or calling them up with a sales pitch. We are talking about taking some time to thank them for their time, to perhaps introduce them to people that need their services, or simply to say hello. No sales pitch, no marketing; just friendly relationship development.

It is in this follow up where you can get to know your prospect even further, and you can look to see where the business relationship goes.

As a sales person, I always recommend you go out and find networking events that are right for you and your business, and I trust these tips will give you some food for thought for the next time you head out into the world of networking!

If you would like more networking tips, or perhaps could recommend more tips to me, get in touch.

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