Why is networking so important?
It's simple: If you don’t show yourself and don’t speak about your business people won’t know you exist! Networking helps to grow your business.
Effective business networking is building relationships and connections between participants and being genuine and authentic.
Another question: Have you ever thought about your goals when networking with other entrepreneurs?
Most people don't, but we’re here to let you in on our secret to success: that going into networking with thought-out goals help you to create much more meaningful and effective networks.
Before the networking event, ask yourself: "what is my goal in participating at this event?" Some of these goals could be such as: focus more on learning, making new contacts, or volunteering your services.
Here are some tips on how to be visible and take as much as you can from the networking event:
Get to the event early and be prepared to stay until late.
Don’t stay with just one person - try to talk with as many as possible, showing your interest (but also don’t finish conversations too early).
Greet people you know and help others to make new connections, others will also do it for you.
Ask open-ended questions (questions which ask who, what, where, when, and how). This shows your interest and people will share with you more information.
Show your knowledge. If you are known as a professional, people will come to you to ask questions, share ideas and names of other professionals.
Have a clear answer to question what do you do? For who? With whom do you collaborate? What makes you different from others who are doing similar things?
Also have in mind answering to questions of how others can help you. What are you looking for? What is your goal during this networking?
Share the business tip, ideas, and referrals.
Follow up with people after the event. Keeping business cards will not bring you new customers, you need to connect with them and remind about yourself. (Tip: You can mention how you will follow up during conversation)
And remember: if someone is not connecting with you, it doesn’t mean they are not interested. “You never try, you never know”.