Learn the Science of Business Networking
Just think about how many people you come across daily at different places, at different times. While traveling, commuting, in the elevator, at a concert, at the departmental store or at a party, the possibilities of meeting new people are endless.
And then in that limited time, you can build a friendship that can last for a lifetime or might just forget them as soon as you wave each other goodbye. And just as it is important to make acquaintances and build relationships with people from all walks of life, making contacts and creating a good rapport with everyone is an essential part of the business too.
What is business networking?- Meeting, interacting, engaging and reaching out to different people from various fields and diverse backgrounds for mutual benefit keeping business interest in mind is what we term as business networking.
A business needs to remain involved with many kinds of people; customer, supplier, employee, investor and so on. And knowing people who can be beneficial to you and your business is always a good thing. One can always face an unprecedented problem, threat or opportunity and to tackle that threat or bank on that opportunity s/he needs to know someone who can deal with it adeptly instead of approaching it single-handedly while making the situation worse later. And there are many instances that signify why business networking is necessary.
Why is it important? – Efficient networking is quite helpful and profitable for a business if done correctly. Knowing the right people, possessing the necessary contacts and the capability to use them at the right moment can go a long way in furthering a business. It can help to find a potential customer, investor, supplier or even staff that can carry out the job smoothly.
It also helps in building a decent image and creates a good impression about you or your business thus also acting as low-cost marketing and advertising tool.
When is business networking done? – There is no specified time or occasion as to when you can carry out business networking. It starts long before a business is established and has no finish line. One must not leave any opportunity to make fruitful links but also should make sure not to jump in everywhere and anywhere to make their presence felt. They should remember people can sense their intention if it’s genuine or shrewd.
When you have started a new business or trying to expand it, having an altercation with the public, planning to launch a PR campaign or carry out any CSR activity, your connections, and friends that you have made all this while can come into your rescue.
How is it done? – Here comes the tricky part. How to increase the chances of meeting the potential partners and maximize the possibility of them coming into your help later on?
There are many ways to network, according to your comfort and feasibility. Face-to-face personally at social gatherings, like exhibitions, parties, conferences, sports events; through electronic media which is more popular nowadays like e-mail, telephone, Skype; or social networking websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. and through industry associations.
Having a clear idea of who you are and what you do makes it easier to explain about you and your business to others. Ask them open-ended questions, and try to know about them instead of talking only about yourself. You should also refrain yourselves from getting too personal or you might just lose your prospects forever. Try helping others and volunteer in some events or organizations and do not forget positive feedbacks to people after meeting them. That will ensure you have made a positive impression on them and will remember you for a long time.
Things to keep in mind while networking– As there are no clear-cut rules solely for business networking yet there are a few etiquettes that you can roll in up your sleeves and work your magic on others.
Remain unbiased, liberal and flexible. Appreciate and consider other’s opinions even if you might not accede to them. That will make others comfortable to approach you. If you get some referrals, make sure you follow up with them immediately.
Last but not least, having an ample number of contacts and a lot of connections do not guarantee you a positive outcome but even a small network of efficient people can prove to be more useful. It is completely dependent on you who and how you make use of those people proficiently that can fulfill your goals.
If you do consider business networking as integral to your business and are willing to learn the science of it, Join our Business Networking Events like Monday Morning Coffee Queries, Skill Share, Startup Huddle, Investment Circle and Connect[IN].
Contributor: Bipin Devkota
Edited by Clock b Business Innovations