In order to make more business connections, I decided to start going Business Networking just over a year ago. For any Networking newbie this can be a daunting prospect and, I must admit, I found myself on occasions completely ‘outside of my comfort zone’. I recently saw a really great blog which gives some really useful tips and insights for Networking Novices. It is written by Sarah Buchanan-Smith, a business consultant based in Mid Lothian, and is a must read if Networking is an avenue you are considering embarking upon in order to grow your business.
Here is Sarah’s blog: http://thekitchentableconsultant.com/10-top-tips-novice-networkers
Other things to remember:
• Research beforehand, by contacting the organiser of the group, and find out a little about them and who attends on a regular basis, so that you are aware of the people you’d like to speak to and get to know better when you get there.
• When meeting someone for the first time take time to find out all about what they do, there will be time later for you to tell them about what you do.
• Send them an e-mail or card to say how you enjoyed meeting them without any other agenda
• It often takes between 6-12 months of networking before you will gain business and referrals for your business.
• Collect and record information about people you meet and ensure you keep in touch on a regular basis.
• Don’t spread yourself too thinly. In time, be selective in the type of networking that works for you and your business and focus on the networking that gives you the best results.
Once people start to network they will soon find themselves with a plethora of people’s business cards. Now what is a person to do with copious amounts of small bits of card with people’s details on? Here are some questions for you:
• If you end-up with a pile of business cards laying around in your office or desk drawer, are these going to work for you there?
• What is a business card worth in your eyes? A penny?
If it is left in a pile in the corner of your office it is valueless. To be honest, you might as well have not bothered attending the meeting if you didn’t have any intentions of doing anything with the cards you collected afterwards!
• How about considering each business card to be an actual human being?
• What’s a lifetime customer worth to you? More than a penny?
It’s not how many business cards you collect, it’s the quality of the relationships you build with those human beings who gave you the cards. So don’t overlook the value of all the business cards you collect. Think of each one as a person and treat that card with respect and in a way that you would like to be treated. Keep in touch personally and on a regular basis and watch your business relationships and profits grow.
Unitl next time,