Guest Post by Tim Brown
For small business owners, networking can open many doors of opportunities to promote their activities. Having referrals from a network of contacts can lead to higher sales and better business performance.
Networking can be most ideal if your business belongs to the service industry like financial advising, accounting, massage therapy, the arts, and law. But it can still be effective for businesses in other industries and sectors.
Building relationships to create a network may require more time and effort. But it will surely be worth it because networking is logically one of the most effective and cost effective forms of marketing.
Thus, experts advise startups to make networking a significant part of their business and marketing plans. Here are simple but strategic steps on how to use networking to obtain business success.
5 Excellent Tips to Networking for Business Success
Attend events to meet new acquaintances and at the same time develop new and prospective business relationships. If you are aiming to build a business network, attend trade shows, chamber of commerce meetings, and network/organization conventions. Most attendees of those events usually come for the same purpose: to meet people and establish new business relationships. If you are attending business events, always remember that you are there to promote your business more than to socialize.
Target the right prospects. The best leads are usually found through accountants and specialized law firms. Accountants and lawyers are good in introducing their clients to each other because they also do so in purpose: to get referrals so they can retain existing clients and have new clients. Don’t ever think that randomly handing out your business card will work.
Use your ingenuity and creativeness to draw attention and interest of contacts who you think can truly help your business. Again, target your prospects. Be strategic in planning to meet them and have even a short but substantive chat with them. If you have to buy their products, do so just to establish contact with your prospects.
Eventually, you will be acquainted with each other and exchange business prospects.
Come to any business event or occasion well-prepared. Have your business cards ready. At times, you may find attending social functions like weddings as opportunities for getting sales leads. You may also handout your business cards when you meet new people at the gym, ballgames, and airport lounges.
Do not bombard new acquaintances with too much information about your business. You might just overwhelm them for the wrong reasons.
Aim to divulge more on your second meeting unless of course the new acquaintances want to know more. Know their problems and try to imply that you know how to help them. Be ready to be more engaging and informative when they call you after the first or second meeting.
About Tim Brown
Tim Brown is a business promotion consultant and an active blogger in the Entrepreneur community. Tim regularly writes for customgear.com.au as well as other websites.
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