They say first impressions matter a lot in life. Networking is a pivot aspect of the business in which individuals explore to achieve their aim. Whether we accept the fact or not, people judge us solely on how they see us, meaning what they perceive is their reality. Therefore, there is constant need to package ourselves well so that we can leave a long lasting impression on our prospective clients and customers.
1. What is business networking?
Business networking otherwise known as BN is the establishment of a symbiotic relationship with diverse people, potential clients, and customers. It can also mean a situation where we build and use connections and contacts made in business environments for reasons other than the initial contact.
The aim of business networking is to let other people in about the type of business we indulge in so that they can be future clients.
2. 9 tips for professional networking
There are various tips on business networking that will come handy for whoever wants to go into business networking. These tips are there to guide you against making any financial mistake that can jeopardize your business venture
1. Always go for quality over quantity
If you are seriously interested in business networking, don’t just start handing out your business cards and flyers to every tom, dick and harry you meet, individuals are wary of people who are just looking for the next contract.
A serious individual will bond more with prospective clients they interact with. These people need to know you care about them and that it is not just about your personal gain. No one likes to be dumped
2. Make the relationship symbiotic
The best way to establish a business network relationship is to contribute positively to your new customer pressing business challenges. If your client state a problem, that is on their mind, the best thing for you is to contribute to how that problem can be solved. Show you care!
3. Use social media effectively
The impact of social media cannot be over-emphasised for professional business networking. But please do not spam people, no matter the situation you are. Be precise and use social platforms to supplement face –to- face connections.
4. Build a good reputation for yourself
In professional settings and climes, individuals prefer to build connections with people they see as an invaluable asset. You can do this by enhancing your reputation as an individual with talent, honesty and being calm. People will be more disposed to do business with people with such behavioural tendencies.
5. Make yourself accessible and Visible
People need to know what business you are doing, so show them. Maintain frequent contact with clients you place a huge value on. You can do this through the various social media platforms available at your disposal.
6. Don’t be afraid of rejection
Every time you push yourself in any area of life, you will definitely face setbacks. In business networking, you will face lots of rejections. Clients will not return calls, messages, and emails.
Others will decline messages and business dinner invitations. Please know that making an attempt and failing is better than not trying at all. Learn from such rejections and move on.
7. Always ask questions
No one is an island of knowledge, therefore it is advisable to ask where one does not know.You never know who is in the corner who will give you that perfect answer to your question and cure you of your ignorance. Ask for advice from people you feel are more experienced and knowledgeable than you.
This medium is one of the most valuable skills in the business world, but it is often overlooked. Individuals cherish it when people hear them out and when they feel people are empathetic to their situation.
As a business net-worker, you should refrain from just talking every time you meet a client, give the client the chance to express himself and show interest in helping to solve it with them
9. Follow up
You should always build a reputation as an individual who delivers on their promises and can be trustworthy. Make sure you always follow upon people who promise to do something for you at a particular time. Give necessary feedbacks on emails, calls, and messages.
Always keep to time and do what you promise other colleagues. There is a thin line between following up and stalking. Don’t ever stalk clients, associates, and clients, it is bad for business.
Business networking can help your business grow when done right but always remember to add value to other people.
The view points shared above belong exclusively to Ify Mustard, the founder of Neshprint company.