Going to networking events and meeting new people is often a daunting prospect but the benefits of networking to grow your business make it worth it.
Networking is not just about turning up at events, it’s about meeting the people who are attending and building relationships with them. The more events you go to the more people you will get to know and the easier it will be. Building relationships in your community is a perfect way to grow your business.
Here are 7 top tips to help you network like an expert.
- Don’t be afraid to go by yourself. In fact, going by yourself to networking events is the best thing you can do because it will encourage you to talk to new people. If you do go with friends or colleagues make sure you split up and catch up at the end of the night.
- Introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Don’t sit in a corner and wait for people to talk to you, make the first move and simply say ‘Hi’ and introduce yourself. Set yourself a target to meet a certain number of people at the event and don’t leave until you have.
- Listen more than you talk. Be interested in the other person and ask them questions about what they do, their line of work, how long they have been in business, what do they like about it, how did they get into that line of business. People often have fascinating stories that lead them into that line of work so make sure you find out about it.
- Don’t assume because they are in a different line of business they can’t help you. This is the worst thing you can do when networking as everyone is a potential customer, or they know someone that might need you and your business. Networking is about meeting a variety of people in different industries and who do different jobs. You just don’t know who you are talking to, how they can potentially assist you or who they know that might need your business.
- Take business cards. Be prepared by having business cards ready if anyone wants to contact you. Make sure you ask for theirs as well, so you have a record of who you met.
- Take notes. When you get home quickly write down who you met and what you learnt so you have a record and a better chance of remembering them next time you meet. Writing on the back of their business card when you met them is a great way to remember.
- Follow up. If you talked about catching up or exchanging information, make sure you do as soon as possible. Re-introduce yourself and remind them what you talked about. Make sure you say Hello if you see them out at other events.
The power of networking can positively impact your business in numerous ways if done right.
The Dunsborough and Yallingup Chamber of Commerce often hold networking events that you can attend.
To view the latest events click here.