Networking: It’s not what you know… - X-Forces Enterprise
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Networking: It’s not what you know…

Networking: It’s not what you know…
Introduction

It’s a fact that people prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust - networking can be an effective tool to help you achieve success. For smaller businesses networking provides a platform to build connections and there are a variety of groups and events out there to choose from, providing different opportunities.

Today’s Thought Leadership will explore how to make the most out of networking and gain a return on your investment.

Things to consider when Networking

Have a strategy – It is important to think about what your goals are, whether that be raising your profile or gaining new contacts. Speak to the regulars and find out if the group will fit with your strategy before committing.

Be pitch perfect – you should have a 60 second pitch ready which describes your business and USPs.

Get out of your comfort zone – If you find yourself in a situation where you are gravitating towards people you already know then ensure you scan the room for people you are yet to meet and facilitate ways for them to join the conversation.

Keep attending – It may take time to build up trust within a group, so attend regularly and ensure you follow up on any introductions and actions.

Listen – Taking an interest in others is key and it is important to see if you have common objectives - ask open-ended questions to facilitate discussions.

Follow up – The most important thing is what you do after the event rather than what happens at the event. Use social media to connect with people and be proactive.

Make referrals or introductions – Always provide the person you are referring with a way of getting in touch with your contact, check back on progress and measure its value. If you were introduced to someone then thank them publicly within the group to build your credibility and that of the referrer.

Measure – Regularly ask yourself if you are achieving your objectives and compare your findings against the cost of your investment, including your time.

Networking etiquette – This is not an environment for a hard sell, it is about building trust and forging relationships. Remember to ‘sell through the room and not to the room’

Dress to impress – Ensure you wear appropriate attire for your line of business. A name badge will help others to introduce you.

Conclusion

Networking is a perfect platform for sharing ideas and knowledge and creating opportunities. Always remember that you are exposing your business to the networks of all the connections you make - raise your profile and push yourself to talk to people that you don’t know. Smile and ensure your body language is open and friendly, shake hands and make sure you are memorable for the right reasons.

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It’s a fact that people prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust – networking can be an effective tool to help you achieve success. For smaller businesses networking provides a platform to build connections and there are a variety of groups and events out there to choose from, providing different opportunities.

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