“It’s not what you know,
It’s who you know.”
You might have heard this saying before, right?
The saying is very apt in today’s business networking strategies. You may like it or not, but this is the truth of successful networking. People and businesses get ahead based on their connections with people, not on their skills or product or services’ quality.
If a business owner asks you, ‘I need your help in expanding and marketing my business. What should I do?’ What advice would you give suggest? Would you suggest him or her focus on SEO, content marketing, conferences and other common business tactics to foster growth or something else?
What if you tell, ‘Go and be with people’?
Surprisingly, your this advice is one of the best ways to grow any business. Learning networking in a business has become the top-most thing for professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs today.
According to a survey sponsored by American Express, ‘’9 out of 10 Americans agreed that it was people to people connections that ultimately expand the businesses.’’
Now, we know, you are eager to win more business through networking.
So, here are top 10 tips for you to build up solid networking.
1. Having Presence at Networking Events
Online and offline conferences and trade shows provide great networking opportunities. Local meet-ups also help you build your network.
LinkedIn groups and Twitter chats are becoming a very popular discussion and ideas sharing platforms. People love helping others and growing together. Make sure you ask for help and share your business concerns with like-minded people.
2. Build Contact List and Meet Referrals
Potential clients and customers are out there. Identify opportunities for partnership and collaborations. Let your referrals know what you do. Show your value, ask genuine questions and convert new connections into customers.
3. Be Available for Your Community
It’s equally important for you to be there for your community’s help. It boosts your authenticity as a person. It also adds value to your business profile. No one can grow without each other’s support in today’s so diverse and complex business world.
4. Become a Sponsor for Your Community Events
Helping hands to some social causes do create positivity in business surroundings. Government and society at large do notice these little efforts made by you. This also opens a space for you to know new people, and bring the community closer to you.
5. Share What You Have
Creating a goodwill and brand recognition does not happen in vain. As a businessman, you have to open with your ideas. Do teach and share what you know and what you have understood or realized. People care and respect mentors. This will expand your personal as well as a professional identity.
6. Be Prepared for New Breakthroughs
You never know, when and how you can come across to new people. Maybe in a flight or a café or your new friend introduces you to his or her colleagues, you have to be well prepared to present your business in the best possible way. Have a business card with you all the time and make sure your social media profiles are up to date, for when people inevitably search you later the same.
7. Avoid Getting into Controversial Issues
You have to be very cautious about this. There is no point in hampering your business or brand. Even if you are not at fault, try to stay away from fights or conflicts. Your potential business clients and customers can get affected by controversial image.
8. Don’t Meet People With Hidden Motives
Your networking members would feel cheated if you do any wrongdoings which in turn cause them any loss. It is expected from your connections that you don’t carry any bad motives about them. Dealing with transparency and honesty is paramount for you to grow your business.
9. Stay Updated and Connected to Market
To bring in customers, you should know exactly what problems they are facing and how you can support them to overcome those issues. If your business is in sales, staying updated about the market happenings is a necessary factor for you. It also helps you to remain ahead in business dealings. It gives you beforehand knowledge to handle your clients well.
10. Be People Friendly
If you hesitate to break the ice with new people then you cannot move your business upwards. You may not like every individual which you come across, but showing patience to face him or her is a skill. And that skill comes with confidence and consistent practice.
Networking takes time and patience – that is why we call it as an investment. The outcomes of networking can be rewarding and game-changer for your business, but you should not expect them to come overnight.
Best networking skill comes with consistent and persistent efforts. How old it may seem for somebody, connections and a strong positive presence among people is the key to win more business today.
People relationship must be maintained and handled skillfully if they are to bear the fruits for everyone engaged in it.