Top tips for powerful networking
Networking Tips To Help Grow Your Business
Not everyone likes networking. Sometimes a room full of strangers gathered for a business event can be a terrifying prospect. But in our experience this type of marketing is beneficial, so by following a few simple rules, we hope to help you to maximise each opportunity and reap the rewards.
At Oxygen Graphics we look at networking as a great way to build strong and long-lasting relationships. We often don’t talk about business initially, as we’re just trying to get to know you and what makes you tick. But whatever happens at a meeting, and often no too meetings are the same, we join in and are friendly, approachable and interested in everything and everyone. In business you can never have enough contacts. We see that every new person we meet is someone that can help us to push the Oxygen graphics message out to a different audience on our behalf.
Remember that people won’t buy from you if they don’t like and trust you. So instead of being pushy and rushing into your standard spiel or handing out brochures or business cards like sweets - stop. By thinking how you like to be treated by people you don’t know, you will be able to display behaviours that others are drawn to, this will mean that you will be able to make the most of your time at a networking event. And in some cases you may even love it.
Top 10 Tips!
- Do your research and set out some goals or expectations that you want to achieve before each event.
- Don’t try to be something or someone that you are not. Be yourself so that others can see you are genuine and authentic.
- Don’t try to talk to everyone, far better to have meaningful and solid conversations with two or three people than a few minutes each with 20 people.
- Don’t try to do too many networking groups, find a couple that you like and that work for you and then attend them regularly.
- Ask great and thoughtful questions and don’t forget to make a mental note of the answers.
- Remember to listen more than you talk. If you want to build a relationship you need to have two sided communications.
- Be succinct about what you do and specific about what you want. People are more likely to understand what you do and know how they might be able to help you find what you are looking for.
- Be engaged. Maintain eye contact with whoever you are speaking to and nod your head or tilt your body towards them. This helps to build rapport and trust.
- Give without expecting something in return. Share your knowledge, contacts or resources and, offer to make connections, but don’t give too much away for free.
- Make notes and remember to follow up. Organising one-to-ones afterwards with individuals that you hit it off with, or want to find out more, is a great idea.
And finally remember that at a networking event, you are not just marketing what you do to the people in the room. Everyone there has family, colleagues and other connections who if they like and trust you, over time they may well share your details with their other contacts.
Now you’ve got the top ten tips for successful networking, we hope that you will go out there, meet some strangers and do some business. To find out more about how networking has made a huge difference to us, get in touch and we’d love to share our story with you.