Networking is all about building relationships; and hence very few are successful in developing a strong and good networks. At times individuals are not comfortable while interacting with others and they feel the pressure to establish the connection. This doesn’t allow them to build the genuine relationship. Things become easier when you are comfortable and do not feel the pressure. Having a good network can do wonders and individuals who are good at networking can take their business to new heights. There is no correct time for networking; every conversation that you strike with someone or every meeting that you attend can help you to broaden your network.
Here we have discussed 5 ways to network like a business owner:
- Be an active listener
Networking isn’t all about talking; it is more importantly about active listening. To create a good network one needs to be a good listener. You cannot learn anything new while you are talking, you can only learn while you are listening to others. By listening to others you will get to learn about their personality, likes and dislikes which can be helpful to understand a person and create a meaningful connection. One shouldn’t do all the talking and boost about their products or services. Instead they should try to get more details about others and try to be helpful to them.
- Participate in social gathering
There is nothing more engaging and indulging than a face to face meeting. One should never miss an opportunity to participate in any social gathering whether it is professional or personal. Social gatherings give an opportunity to interact with people of different field and interests which can make the networks more diverse. Never miss a chance to participate in trade shows, conferences and industry meetings as it gives you the chance to increase the visibility and nurture new relationships. To get the maximum output from such meetings, one needs to be an active participant in such gatherings and try to engage in maximum conversations.
- Follow up
There is no use of making new connections if you do not follow up with them. The actual networking does not end after the first meeting or exchange of business cards but it actually starts after it. It is very crucial to follow up as people generally tend to forget things they said during the first meeting. Follow up should be done soon after the first meeting preferably within couple of days. Doing follow up really helps in building and strengthening the network.
- Exchange business cards
Exchanging business cards can help you to initiate the conversation with an individual. They also help you to gain credibility as they portray the professional approach of the person. One should always carry multiple business cards while attending a meeting or social gathering. However, the card should be placed in way that it can be readily shared while interacting with others. Searching for the card before handing it over or sharing the wrong business card creates a bad impact. They should be shared carefully as it stays with the person even after the meeting has ended and act as a physical reminder of the meeting.
- Be active on social media
Social media sites and apps have become part and parcel of the routine life. They should be widely used to expand the network and take business to the new heights. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Stunited.org Instagram and many similar sites are gaining more popularity and have been successful in attracting more visitors. It has become like a mandate for the companies to be present on online forums as it is the place where people spent most of their time and would search for information. Being active on social media can help you to connect with more people despite the geographical barriers.
Having an extensive network is essential for the success of the business. Hence, one should always try to make new connections and strengthen the existing ones. Networking should not be about increasing the number of contacts but it should be about making new connections. The business never comes from new contacts but it comes from the trust and faith built by new relations. Having extensive network can help to increase the revenue and sales for the company.