Networking is a vitally important marketing tool for every business, whether big or small. Creating valuable and engaging contacts could be the single most important thing that you do for your business. Most chambers of commerce offer networking events to encourage businesses to get to know one another. In addition, there are many business associations that facilitate networking events with their members such as the BNI network, the Business Women’s Association and many more. So start networking like a pro with the following tips:
Bring business cards
It should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many people attend networking events with no business cards.
Understand that it is not just about swapping business cards
At the end of the day, who you connect and interact with weighs far more than how many people you gave your business card to. It is about creating a genuine connection that will remember you and want to do business with you.
Be friendly and smile
If you approach networking as a way to do business, you are not going to get very far. Be genuinely friendly and interested in those who you meet, and you are much more likely to create a lasting impression with a contact.
Be as open to others businesses as you want them to be open to yours. Be interested in doing business with others and not just from your side. Listen to what they have to offer and see if it is applicable to you.
Follow up within the first few days after the networking function by sending each person you connected with an individual email or phone call to touch base with them. Especially those you really connected with. Offer to go for coffee to hear more about their services or send them a more detailed brochure of yours. Turn the connections you made into long-term contacts and friends.
BY: MISPAH CARELSEN, MARKETER AT WEBWARE STUDIOS