If you’re working on your business networking strategy, you will come across a lot of material from different sources, some of which may be contradicting and even overly complicated. We’ve created a simple guide with 5 of the most useful tips to improve your business networking strategies quickly.
The key is to attend as many networking events as possible. The aim is not only to get used to how networking sessions work but also to get more comfortable with your abilities to network. If you struggle in the beginning, just remember that networking is a skill that needs to be mastered. It is not a rare gift that only a select few people possess. Some people may be more natural at networking, but anyone can become proficient with enough practice.
Attending different types of events will also be to your advantage because it will help you prepare for different professional settings. Seek out events with different approaches, in different industries, and with different attendees to maximize your skillset.
With networking events becoming more and more popular, you can now easily find events that cater to different audiences. And, by connecting with attendees who are in your customer base, you will have the opportunity to gather direct feedback, get a good feel for the market, and build a reputation with your clients as a business or expert who connects with their audience.
The biggest mind shift that you need to make in business networking is to go from selling to serving. You need to be ready to serve those you meet with valuable connections, expertise, and resources. Ask “how can I help” rather than expecting others to simply help you. This approach will help you to establish better connections and build loyal relationships quicker. Being kind to everyone you meet (even if you won’t be able to connect with them at that moment) is also paramount to success in your networking activities. It shows that you are approachable, respectful, and professional even to those who can’t help you progress.
This is probably the hardest part to master in networking. But rejection is a very real part of networking, and the quicker you get used to hearing “no” or hearing nothing at all, the easier it will become to move on from those dead-ends and cultivate beneficial relationships.
A key part in handling rejection is to be patient. Even if you hear “no” from someone at the moment, it may still become a yes or a maybe later on.
Building relationships is only the start of the process, however, long-term success can only be ensured when you maintain relationships. Keep contact details on record and check in with your connections, even if it is only to catch up. Like any other kind of relationship, networking connections thrive on continued interest, not just on contact when you need something.
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