Look around and meet up with some successful Small Business Owners to question them on how they got to the very point they are in Business, I bet you, a major part of their responses will be Networking. Recently, after the Soconnected Coffee Mornings event, a Business woman called and shared her concerns with me on how she had not been connecting with other Business Owners and networking to not only grow her Business but also make new connections. I spent over 45 mins discussing with her and sharing the numerous benefits Networking has for Business Owners and of course she will be at the next SoConnected Coffee Mornings
Having been to quite a few Networking events myself, I would like to share some helpful tips on how to you can network better as a Business Owner.
TIP 1: Be Open- Minded and Welcoming
As a Business Owner attending a Networking Event or just an event with like-minds, please and please be as open-minded and as welcoming as ever. Now, don’t get me wrong! Don’t fake it, you will be caught but be friendly enough for people to know you can be easily approached. Don’t attend events with your face looking very stern and scary. I’m sure you do know no one will approach you. Smile people, it’s free!!
- Reach out to people
- Learn about them [genuinely] – Ask open-ended questions
- Listen more than you talk.
- Don’t stop there, offer to take the conversation after the event
- Follow each other on Social Media
- Follow up: Give a Call/Send an sms/Whatsapp/Tweet/BBM after the event
- Do not Stalk
[Related: Photo Story of The Interactive Networking Session by Fidelity Managed SMEs and Spid Networking]
TIP 2: Bring Something to the Event
When attending Networking events, why don’t you give a call to the organizers and ask if you could volunteer or support by offering some of your services for free to the participants. Of course, the answer would be YES, as long as your product/service ties with the theme of the event.
This is also a good way to get the word out about your product or service. You are giving every attendee of the event the opportunity to try your product for free, you’ll will be letting them experience your Brand first hand in a very relaxed environment. Trust me, this will also add some level of respect for your Business. Can you imagine the amount of feedback you will get that can make your product/service better.
TIP 3: Grab your Business Cards
Don’t forget to attend the Networking Event with your Business Cards. It’s a great way to get your Business Cards in the hands of a lot of people. Don’t just talk to people and say , Hi, Here’s my Business Card. No! No!! No!!! If you do that to me, I would just take the card and include it with the rest I have.
- Start an amazing Conversation
- Talk about your Business not just pitching
- Share experiences on why you’re at the event and some of cool things you’ve learnt so far
- Exchange Business Cards. Make sure you get the card or some contact details of the person you are speaking with.
TIP 4: Take Selfies and Make sure you have fun
Yeah, yeah! It’s a networking event but nothing stops you from having fun right! Take Selfies with your new friends and possibly new partners, share them on Social Media. Make sure you leave that event happier than you came in.
After the event, remember a point I mentioned before – Follow up! Get in touch within 48 hours to show you are interested or if you would like to continue a conversation you started at the event.
Not bad right? And with that I say, “Mission Accomplished” 😎
Got any Networking tip, please share with us.