Summary: Business networking is crucial for the success of your enterprise. From the possibility of partnerships for work, or just simply getting ideas from people that could make your business better, networking is important. Learn how you can network better and improve your chances of business success.
Before stating the practical theory behind business networking, I want to share a story - not the origin of networking but a story that taught me the importance of this business essential.
Seven years ago, when I was an engineering college student, the bug of entrepreneurship bit me in my last year of college, I used to talk about starting my own business and developing a legacy. I was an inexperienced and enthusiastic lad and I started my very first business.
In my final year, I start finding jobs for other students. Well this was my first and shortest business ever. I started a Job Consulting firm, but it did not succeed. Not because I didn’t have any clients, almost three colleges and 350 students enrolled with me, but it failed because I didn’t have a network of real job providers. I mean I managed some of the jobs but not enough to support the ambitions of them all. It was a fantastic lesson that set the tone for my career.
I realised the importance of real business networking, it’s not only about knowing people, but more than this. Networking is about adding value in your relationship. I knew some companies, but I was not adding value to them, just providing any fresher without any previous experience and knowledge is just a blind gamble. And HR are smart people.
So that gave me an insight into business networking. People help each other, but the balance is important, you cannot expect anything from anyone without adding your value in their life and this is what networking all about, maintaining and holding business relationships for mutual benefit and learning.
Networking is not just greeting each other or explaining your own business to them, it’s a mindset. It is about your irresistible presence to them and their business. If you are adding value, they add value to you. If you are solving their problem, they solve yours. If you are dedicated to them, they will be dedicated towards you.
Here I am sharing ten important points for business networking and how to grow your network.
- Add value first – The first thing is to add value in the other person's life or business, share your knowledge and experience as soon as you find someone. Solve their problem or just show them the root cause. I know most of us may think that why should we do all this for free. Well this is what business is, you are not doing anything for free. You must be learning something; experiment and risk is easy when there is no cost for it. And finally, you are winning the game, I mean just think of the long-term business relation you are seeding with just one value. This is incomparable to the price you will get for it.
- Communicate as much as possible – If you are building a relationship, communication is crucial, so just listen to them, know their culture, network too. You can earn many more real businesses with just a single talk. Ask them about their network, join their community and do all this with dedication. Listening is an important part of communication, so never try to sell them something before knowing about them. People do business with people, not with the company nor with the product. If you communicate well, you will earn trust.
- Searching an opportunity – Opportunity is everywhere, you can find it in a multiplex or on social media, but you must wear the lens of reality. Business networking is often initiated with a simple smart conversation, and you can start this anywhere. So, finding your next partner is easy. Just be responsible with your words. This is something that builds with experience and practice. Knowing the community, their culture and their lifestyle helps in building great networks, so opportunity is everywhere, just find it.
- Build your personal brand – People like to talk with celebrities - a star of their own style. Building a personal brand is a thing to do with networking, I mean it is easy to recognise someone with brand value from anyone else. You can easily find people in need of you, if you have personal ethics and brand value. They trust you, and they are going to do business with you. So, start working on this crucial point.
- Be curious about industry – It is not just about you and your dreams, think outside of the box. Think about their business and industry. The world is not dependent on a single type of company or industry. Understand others, know their problems and show them how you can solve it. Every industry has a potential to help other industries in some way and this is the expansion of limits and your business network too. Know them, help them and earn a new status.
- Be where the people are – It sounds poetic, but it is business. To expand your business network and possibilities you must have to be with people. Attend seminars, workshops, industry meetups and job fairs. Visit different places and meet people of different backgrounds. Greet people warmly and hand over your card with a smile, tell them an interesting story and make them tell you theirs. Every time you find a workshop near you, attend it. Join professional groups and industrial events. People are there so what are you doing alone in your office?
- Be gentle every time - In making relations and doing business networking, you must be a gentle person. Learn names and earn respect. Thanking with a smile is something that always works. Be irresistible, gentle and poised,so that you create a positive impression, and my friend they will call you very soon.
- Maintain your network – Maintaining a relation is as important as making a new one, so keep this in mind, talk to them frequently, even a hello can work. Let them remember you with your name.
- Reconnect – In the words of maintaining your business relations, you must reconnect and meet people, ask them to attend another event or workshop with you. Ask them about their business and you get to know more insights of their life. This will not only expand your experience and knowledge but also give you a chance for new business opportunities. Someone’s problem is a business opportunity waiting to be tapped.
- Always reply to mail/ call/text message – This is important, you can’t maintain any relationship without giving them importance in your life and if you ignore or forget about their mail or call, you are somehow ignoring your luck to do another deal. Always make time to reply, you may be busy sometime, but if you are busy all the time, you deprive yourself the opportunity to network. Keep in touch with your business contacts and those in your professional network. It’s not easy in one day, but a whole year is enough to maintain all the relations you have.
These are some important and simple points that I learned with my business and job career. I devoted myself to help people to build a business and expand their empire. Networking for me is another way to build awesome relations with people, knowing them and helping them.
So, keep in touch, you can talk to me freely, open your heart and mind and ask any question you may have. This will give us an opportunity to exchanges notes and expand our network.
To explore business opportunities, link with me by clicking on the 'Invite' button on my eBiz Card.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
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