Actively getting involved in business networking is a great way to expand your business connections. Whilst it can be a little daunting at first, it will help you to build long-term relationships with new people.
Don’t hard sell
Networking isn’t just about winning new business at that one event. The key to networking is building trust and helping others towards their goals. Not everyone you meet will want to do business with you, and vice versa, but widening your business network can open up opportunities in the future.
Attending a networking event is a great way to step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new social skill. Whilst it can feel a little scary making that first move, remember that it is a networking event and that people are expecting to meet others. Remember to smile, explain who you, what your business does but ensure you are asking them questions about their business too.
Having the correct tools
Having business cards, leaflets or sample products is a fantastic way to introduce yourself and swap business details with attendees. Once you’ve got a card or leaflet from an attendee, write a few notes about them on it – it will help you to remember who they are and what they do.
Once you’re back in the office, don’t forget to follow up with the new connections you’ve made. This could be a personal note via LinkedIn, an email or a call to arrange a meeting date. Think of ways to stay in touch and help to grow your business network.