15 May 2017, 10:49 — 5 min read
In today’s global business ecosystem, no business can afford to work in isolation. Business success largely depends upon making the right contacts and nurturing them. Whether you have just started a business or thinking of expanding your venture, networking is essential.
We often come across small business owners who say that most of their business comes from their own contacts or those that they built by attending business events or by knowing fellow business owners. Usually, people like to do business with those they know and can trust.
Appropriate business networking can get you professional opportunities that you would have otherwise missed. Business networking is one of the least expensive, yet effective marketing efforts that a business owner can undertake. So, here are a few insights to hone your business networking skills. Also, watch the below video for an insight into business networking.
1. Start by being a good listener
This trait tops the list. Listening skills are most important aspect of successful business networking. For a great business relationship, it is important that the involved parties understand each other, which is possible only when they listen to each other well. Focused listening will help you understand the speaker’s viewpoint and his/ her needs better, so that you can identify opportunities to help the other person.
2. Stay positive
When you interact with others, especially strangers, your attitude is the first thing they notice. Portraying negative or ‘cold’ vibes time and again can make people form a poor opinion about you, and drive away possible referrals.
On the other hand, if you keep a positive attitude, people will notice you and associate with you. Even if you are not directly related to their industry, they will provide professional referrals to you.
3. Be sincere
Show others that you are genuinely interested in them. Faking interest is a complete no. Experienced entrepreneurs can easily identify professionals who are not being sincere. Great networking skills come to those who are sincere about making and maintaining trustworthy network contacts.
4. Collaborate to care
Until people know how much you care, they will not even think about how much you know. This means, when you go about collaborating and networking, show people that you are there to help others solve their problems as much as you can. Helping someone can be as simple as e-mailing them a relevant article or news report, or referring a resourceful contact to them.
5. Be reliable
Trust plays a big role in business networking. No matter how successful a person is, unless others are able to trust him or her, nobody will work with them. Even when you give a personal reference, note that your own reputation may be judged. In other words, you must be able to trust your referral partner and vice-versa.
6. Be easy to approach
Approachability makes a huge impact on business networking. Meeting people, sharing contact details is important, but unless you are approachable to others in the network, all efforts will be wasted.
7. Join a business networking platform
Technology is bringing people together in different ways. A business networking platform like GlobalLinker can be used to forge relationships with people who you could have mutually beneficial relationships with. Sometimes it is difficult to meet the kind of person you are looking for - online networking makes that easier. Make your presence felt by participating in discussions - they could enrich your business.
Business networking is all about building relationships that are mutually beneficial. Whatever time you spend in business networking, make sure you do it sincerely with great zeal. The above are just a few small steps to move ahead in a collaborative referral network. The more connections you make, the greater will be your chances of business success and growth.
To explore business opportunities, link with me by clicking on the 'Invite' button on my eBiz Card.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
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