Business networking through Focus Group is the process of developing relationships in order to enhance knowledge, increase business and expand one’s sphere of influence.
Your Focus Group network could include everyone from friends and relatives, business connections, your social network, current and previous co-workers, and members of groups to which you belong.
Business networking is a really valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, attain new leads, and tell others about your business. Active networking is vital to growth.
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Networking may not be enjoyable to some people but we can always make it fun and profitable for businesses. The following are just some of my tips to share with you how you can get the most out of your next networking session:
1. Know the location -It helps to know where the event is going to be held beforehand. It is both frustrating and embarrassing to appear in the wrong place and keep calling the host who is busy talking to his / her guest.
2. Always arrive early - If you can follow this, you will make it as a top networker in no time. I always respect people who turn up not only on time, but well before the event starts. Arriving early is not only for show, you can have a great opportunity by connecting with the host and guest speakers (if any).
3. Bring more name cards -Bringing more name cards can make a difference at times. In a professional business event, it is embarrassing to tell people that you run out of name cards. If the event is expecting 100 people, bring 150 name cards. You will need them for something you will not expect - lucky draws, subscriptions and unexpected turnouts etc.
4. Get to know the host - Most networking events are hosted by certain organization and associations, part of the reason to arrive early is also to have time to talk to the host and tell them what you do (if this is the first meetup). As a host, we respect people who turn up early. This is also an excellent time asking the host if they know of someone who can help or work hand in hand with your business.
5. Find out who will be attending the event - This works if you have a way to know who will be attending the event. If the event is displayed via Facebook or Meetup.com, then you will be able to know who may be attending (via the guest list). After you know who will be attending, spend some time going through their websites and prepare some small talk topic when you meet them. You may even find a common interest between you and the person that will be attending the event =)
6. Prepare your 10 seconds 'what you do' pitch - To be honest, no one is interested in what you do in most networking events. If you fail to impress people during the initial 10 seconds of interaction, you will have to work harder to make yourself memorable. One tip I have here is to stress on the benefit when people ask 'What you do for a living?'. If you are an Accountant, don't reply saying that you are an accountant, just mention that you help businesses to cut down as much as 20% (or some statistics that is realistic) of their costs. An Entrepreneur with common sense will be eager to hear more and ask you how they can do that!
7. It is better to overdress - If you can't figure out the dress code for the event, just dress formally. It won't hurt by overdressing in most events. Appearing in formal dress code also signifies that you respect the host and VIPs of the event. Overdress will also make you memorable for most people especially the host.
8. Advertising Zone? - It is also important to ask the organizer if there is any way to share the benefits that your business will bring to the attendees on the event. Some business networking events will have some sort of 'Advertising Zone' that allows you to place your marketing materials for exposure. Some even have business booth.
9. Identifying the top 3 trades you need - Most businesses cannot survive on their own without forming alliances with leads flowing from one to another. For example, Corporate Services Provider works pretty well with Web Designers, IT Support Companies and Accountants. You need to place the top 3 trades that you are looking for on top of your mind at all times. Doing so will make it easier for you to connect with someone who is in the trade that you are looking for on any networking event.
10. Find out and participate in the event theme - Some monthly or Bi-monthly events do organize networking themes at times. For example, an event may request everyone to turn up with red-white theme in the month of Aug (Singapore National Day). Have fun and participate in the theme for the event. Participating in the theme also show that you are giving support to the host or organizer.
Sounds easy? Try them out in your next networking opportunity!
There are many benefits of business networking:
1. Increased business.
Networking is great for generation of referrals. You get high-quality referrals through networking, and much higher quality leads than other forms of marketing.
2. Strong connections.
Betruedesign networking opportunities opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you won’t otherwise be able to find easily. You have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them.
3. New opportunities.
You gain opportunities like joint ventures, partnerships, business, client leads, job, speaking and writing opportunities. Active networking increases your likelihood of receiving new opportunities for business, career advancement, and personal growth. Make sure the opportunities you get involved in should align with your goals and vision.
4. Career advice and support.
You get quality advice from your network on all sorts of things related to your business or even your personal life. Networking opens the door to valuable suggestions and guidance from experts and experienced people. Your sphere of experienced peers will be able to answer even your toughest questions.
5. New ideas.
Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals is a key benefit of networking. Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas. By talking to experts, you can gain insights from a different perspective. You see things in a new light.
6. Raising your profile.
Networking helps you build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person if done right. Regularly attending professional and social events will help you get noticed and advance your career.
7. Positive influence.
It’s important to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people that help you grow and thrive as a business owner.
8. More knowledge.
Networking is a great opportunity to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of others and stay abreast with latest industry developments.
9. Increased confidence.
By continuously putting yourself out there and meeting new people via a Focus Group, you’re stepping outside your comfort zone and building invaluable social skills and self-confidence. You get increased confidence by regularly networking and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know.
Strong lasting friendships tend to form as a result of networking because mostly all are like-minded business owners.
11. Satisfaction from helping others.
Business owners have problems and issues within their business that needs solving, and it’s a great satisfaction helping others.
In short networking sessions organized by Betruedesign is actually about building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time.
- Business Development Professional Symposium
- CEO Executive Consultation
- CFO Jobs Search Council
- Consultant Management Network
- HR Executive Conference
- Human Resource Management Council
- Information Technology Business Seminar
- IT Business Forum
- Finance Manager Management Summit
- Managing Director Supply Chain Consultation
- Marketing Manager Management Summit
- Vice President Management Summit
- General Manager
- Sales Manager