Business networking for Business Development is one of the most effective marketing and prospecting method you can use to grow your business. But if done incorrectly, it can be harmful to your business.
Business networking is a lot more than giving out business cards. It is about building trust. For Business Development the networking is a lot more than meeting people. It is about connecting with the right people.
Business networking is a lot more than collecting phone numbers. It is about staying in touch, about listening, addressing needs and looking for opportunities all at the same time.
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It is how as a Business Development we approach relevant business networking sessions that makes it work for us. Networking is about being authentic and genuine, building relationships and trust, and helping others. Although increased sales is the end goal, don’t participate in business networking to sell.
Build relationships and sales will follow naturally. People have to trust you before they’ll do business with you or refer you. Relationship capital is an immensely valuable part of business success. Put your energy, intention and attention on business networking.
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!
Identify which networking events you should attend. Pick groups that’ll help you achieve your goals. Find venues that make sense for your business. When you register for an event, schedule it like a meeting.
Determine how often you should be networking. How many times in a week, month, or quarter? Visit as many groups as possible.
Attend events with a plan and always try to learn something new. Prepare yourself for the event. Develop open-ended questions to ignite a conversation. Bring business cards but don’t give your business card to everyone you meet. Give cards to those who ask you for it. Try to sit with strangers. Don’t forget to mingle.
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Keep track of people you meet. Keep in touch with them and deepen your emotional connection. Establish a mutual beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients/ customers. Meet with the group members individually so you get to know them better and try to build quality connections. Consider other group members as resources. focus on the group; listen and think about how you can help them. Focus on giving. Build trust within the group.
Looking to start your own business to work from home?
Do you have the personality to lead or sell to others?
My name is Chaia Lewis and I'm an internet marketer with crucial information to help you answer that question. I'm going to discuss the basics of personalities, successful personality traits, and how to attain those traits.
Most advice will tell you to identify your personality and then pick your network marketing business. It's suggested that an outgoing and magnetic person will do well in Multi Level Marketing (MLM). Or if you are shy and uncomfortable selling to others, internet marketing is a better choice. And that's not bad advice, but realistically, personalities are considerably more flawed and multi-dimensional.
I have spent time with some of the most successful network marketers in the world today, and in trying to answer the above question, I came across a completely different concept. Before I reveal it, take a look at some of my personality traits I started with:
-I hated talking on the phone and all social media
-I always talked over people, and if I appeared to be listening, I was probably daydreaming or about to interrupt
-Easily distracted, struggling with efficiency and time management everyday
-Cared too much about the opinions of others
-Habitually skipped work and spent money I didn't have, i.e. completely irresponsible
-If you put me in front of too many people or a video camera, a twitchy girl would appear who apparently favored the words "um" and "like"
-I was no leader. I'd rather stay under the radar at work, which, by the way, was serving tables in a restaurant for a total of ten years because that's how much I preferred the path of least resistance.
All the advice suggested that this industry was not for me. Before you take similar advice, let's take a closer look at what a personality is. It's a set of your characteristics which endure over a long period of time. But can anything be considered permanent? The reality is, most traits in our personalities are derived from a combination of past experiences, present circumstances, and perhaps most importantly,the other personalities we surround ourselves with. For example, have you ever spent time with someone who inspired you to be more than you are? If I had the opportunity to spend a day with Steven Jobs, I guarantee the personality traits above would not be coming with me. Our personalities are also a product of what we read and watch on TV; therefore, I sold $500 worth of drama from my bookcase. As it turns out, tweaking your personality is easier than you might think when you change your environment, your influences, and your circle.
I am not, however, proposing these changes will transform you into a completely different, charming person - that's not the objective. For example, before I had access to this information, I exhausted myself looking for a business opportunity suited for me and all my flaws. And ultimately, I made my decision based on one person-one personality. He was clearly not the charismatic salesman I expected, but I could relate to this quirky character. Formally a high school dropout, his company now has members in over 200 countries. Do you see how being relatable is better than being charismatic? Are there not more socially challenged people in the world rather than smooth talkers? Eventually, as I became acquainted with my new circle, I realized the personalities of every leader were all over the spectrum with only a few common success-related traits. With such different backgrounds, how did they all end up with certain values and traits that weren't there before?
I assure you it didn't happen naturally, and it's not an easy task. In fact, the vast majority will never undergo such a change. Remember, the vast majorities don't have the income and lifestyle you are pursuing. Whether you realize it or not, if you have read this far, you most likely have these traits already. Regardless, they will lie dormant your entire life without provocation. With that in mind, the traits every successful leader acquired are as follows:
-They are committed to a process. I suggest copying the exact process of a leader you aspire to be. You cannot do better! They are consistent in that process even before they see results, because it's an educational process as well. And successful entrepreneurs are always students.
-They believe in doing the right thing. It's not about the quickest result. Help others and you will see your bank account grow, because most success achieved at the expense of another is short-lived.
-They are persistent and take charge. If you treat your business like a hobby, you will only get paid for a hobby. Take daily action as if there were a $50,000 check waiting for you upon completion.
-They are optimistic. They look for the best in everything. It's not a question of whether obstacles will come, but how many in a day. Learn to handle them.
These qualities will absolutely make you wealthy in more ways than one. However, can you incorporate them into your personality? Earlier I mentioned I had come across a different concept in spending time with successful marketers. I have not yet covered that. The reality is, you will find it impossible to attain those traits without this next key, as countless entrepreneurs have already tried with no success.
Every successful leader with the lifestyle and income that I desired had a crystal clear grasp on their Why.
It's the only way they were able to transform their personalities to achieve the desired result in their home business. This is an ancient concept, unfortunately forgotten or underestimated, and it significantly reduces failures when implemented. I elaborated on this in a separate article discussing exactly what Why is, how to discover yours, and how to use it in your business. You will find it on my authors page titled Home Business Network Marketing Success-One Key Difference Between You and Wealthy Marketers.
In short, the answer to your original question is...if it's a problem, change your personality. First, by identifying your Why. It will give you the strength to get out of your element and do something you have never done before so that you can see results you have never seen before. Look at what you surround yourself with: TV, books, music, friends, coworkers, etc. Recognize the outside elements that shape who you are, evaluate, and act accordingly.
Hopefully you now realize your personality doesn't have to be an issue, so start researching, and chose a business that will take you the direction you want to go.
Do not expect to receive benefits right away. Do volunteering work for network groups to stay visible and give back. As a responsible Business Development you must show up regularly and on time, show others how you deal with business meetings and associates. Give quality referrals and leads. If someone gives you a referral, follow up on it in a timely manner. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. Take a referral seriously.
Don’t spam on social networks. Use the platforms designed for Business Development to build relationships and expand your network.
Limit self-promotion. Don’t sell. Build relationships. Be as helpful as you can. Share relevant information with others as people love to learn new things. Participate in discussions. Let others know you’re real. Be approachable. Treat your online connections just as valuable as your offline connections.