Tips for Successful Business Networking
April 23, 2012
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Networking is a great way to build personal and business relationships. You never know who could provide potential leads for your business or the company you work for. The guy you always talk to at the coffee shop could be in need of a product or service that you or your company offer. Or the lady who owns the salon you go to might be able to get the word out to customers about the company you work for. It’s important that you don’t take networking lightly. If you aren’t making the most of your networking efforts, you could be making a huge mistake.
If you want to become more effective at networking, here are a few tips to get you started:
Choose Networking Events or Groups That Line Up with Business Goals
Don’t attend every networking event under the sun to find new business prospects. Instead, attend networking events for your particular industry. These events include trade shows, conferences and associations dedicated to your type of business. It might also help to participate in groups where your potential clients meet.
Don’t Be Overbearing or Super Aggressive
When talking to a potential contact, start with casual conversation. If you immediately go into a sales pitch, you will probably scare off a lot of people. You will also lose your audience if you barge into a conversation and dominate it. And don’t start by approaching people with an armful of promotional materials. Just have a friendly conversation with them and give them your business card when the conversation is over.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mingle
You may feel comfortable hanging out with cliques at parties or at work, but this is a definite no-no at networking events. If you talk to the same people during an event, you’re defeating the purpose of networking. Put yourself out there, talk to strangers and make as many connections as you can.
Show Some Love
You don’t have to send flowers, but if one of your contacts gives you a referral, make sure you thank them. Send them a handwritten card or a nice email to let them know that you appreciate the gesture. This will also show that person that you truly value the relationship.
This article is presented by Briarcliffe College. Contact us today if you’re interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from Briarcliffe College.