Looking for Networking Advice?
If you’d like to grow your business or start one of your own, it’s time you started networking. Going to networking events can be a big boon to business or a big waste of your time. If you’ve never networked before, or you think your networking efforts could be improved, keep the following business networking ideas in mind when you head out to your next event.
Top Six Effective Networking Tips
1. Listen First
The best way to start a conversation is to listen. While you may think what you have to say is the key to effective networking, what you really should do is think about what someone might have to share with you. Chances are the conversation will bring to light new ideas and opportunities that you may have missed by talking about yourself.
2. Be Honest
Nobody likes a braggart. It’s great networking advice to ditch your pitch, and just talk openly and honestly. While it may be tempting to sell someone on how great your business is, discussing challenges and processes can often lead to great business relationships. The business networking, tips and tricks that come out of a conversation can take your business to new places.
3. Be Open
If you’re not an extrovert, networking with a bunch of strangers might make you nervous. The good news is, most attendees are in the same boat and everyone’s looking for someone to talk to. Remember, everyone has some knowledge to share. Don’t assume that someone in a different industry won’t have something valuable to teach you. One of the best business networking ideas is to step outside your circle. This will give you access to a world of new thoughts, ideas and opportunities.
4. Share Your Information
Have your business cards handy so you can easily exchange contact information. Don’t have a business card? One of the best business networking tips and tricks is to create one of your own. Don’t have a business? Create a personal card with your contact information. The whole point of business networking is to increase your visibility in your field and build relationships, and you won’t get very far without leaving your contact information behind.
5. Go Online to Learn More
Once you’ve made a connection, do a little digging and see if they have a website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn page. When it comes to effective networking tips, learning about a prospective client or business partner can better prepare you moving forward.
6. Follow Up and Follow Through
This piece of networking advice is so simple and important yet often neglected. If you promise to make a call, do so. If you said you’d send information, send it. And don’t lose that business card you were given. The best business opportunities can fall through the cracks because of poor follow up.
Keep these business networking ideas in mind throughout your business journey. Following these simple business networking tips and tricks can make your business endeavors more successful, providing you with great bits of advice and pushing you to do something outside your comfort zone.