Networking can be really enjoyable if you don’t try too hard. Never walk into a room full of people and expect a sale that day; of course, it’s great if that happens, but usually it doesn’t. You have to engage with people, listen to people, and hear their WHY!
Business networking is about finding other like minded people then helping them to build relationships to earn that trust. Like anything worthwhile, networking takes time and application. Take the time to develop relationships and create a network.
How do you get to know someone?? Make time to have 1-2-1 meetings to get to really know the other person and their business. See how you can help them rather than thinking about what’s in it for you.
Give everyone you meet your full attention, don’t just shake hands, then start looking over their shoulder to see who in the room is more important to greet. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of that kind of networker, it doesn’t feel good does it?! Don’t be keeping one eye open for the ‘important’ people when you’re building relationships. Make genuine connections with people.
The follow up is all important – and be prompt about it. Just a simple email or call initially. Be a connector and put your new contacts in touch with any other people or events that you feel may be useful to them.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that business networking is a form of marketing, and as such will benefit from an ongoing effort. Consistent attendance at a group that you have become a member of is really important.
And if you’re new to networking, why not come along to the Orient Business Club monthly networking meetings held at Leyton Orient? In the format of either a breakfast networking meeting, or an evening event, they are packed with local business owners – next meeting is Wednesday 30th April 2014 so why not book your place now?