Business owners are always told that networking is the key to success, whether it’s securing a client or building your brand. Despite this, many people still have no idea where to start when it comes to networking and tend to put it off for fear of embarrassment or rejection. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to turn your networking nightmare into a success and start networking like a pro.
They might seem old fashioned but they’re still an invaluable tool in the networking world. Find yourself some nice business cards and hand them out to people who you have a genuine connection with. Most company owners have their own business cards and the likely hood is that whilst networking, potential clients will be given several.
Therefore, you’ll seriously want to think about creating a card that reflects your brand and really stands out. A different shape, texture or a quirky design are all good ways to get noticed. You might have to splash the cash a little but if you stay away from generic looking cards, you’re onto a winner.
If you want to network like a pro, you have to be passionate about what you are doing. A passionate person always comes across better than someone who is trying too hard to makes a sales pitch. Passion is genuine and the passion that you have for your business should come through. If you can’t get passionate about your company, you aren’t going to make a lasting impression.
Improve Your Memory
Never forget a face but always forget a name? That probably isn’t going to go down well. Networking is as much about listening as it is about selling yourself and if you can’t remember a client’s name, you’re likely to ruin your chances. When you’re at an event, all of the different names and faces can be overwhelming but it really does reflect positively on you if you can address people by their name.
If you’re a good listener but you really struggle with names, there are methods and even apps you can use to help retrain your brain. Whilst this might sound a little silly, it could save you a lot of embarrassment at your next networking opportunity.
Network With Everyone
Networking professionals understand how important it is to network with everyone; even if you don’t think they are valuable. Everyone can be valuable to you in one way or another and you might be valuable to them too.
Get Out There
No professional networker says no to a seemingly good networking opportunity. Sure, the internet is great but you can’t network effectively from your sofa. Get yourself out there and attend the events, conferences or lunches. You never know where your next big client will be.