Networking for your Business
A great way to get new business is referrals. To get referrals, you need to have a network of people that know who you are and what you do. Here are a few things I have found to help when networking for your business.
Perception is everything.
If you are going to an event, you have to think about how your actions are being perceived. Show up late and people may make assumptions about your punctuality when it comes to doing business with you. It is appropriate to match your clothes to an event and most of the time, business casual is the safest option. If someone can’t tell if you are running an errand or going to a networking event, you may not be taken as seriously. If you sit on your phone through the event, you are basically saying you’re too important for what is going on.
Have business cards and use them.
Don’t be afraid to hand out your business cards to make sure people will have a way to follow up with you. Something I have always found helpful is writing a few words on someone’s card after we’re done talking. You can meet a lot of people during one event and it’s hard to remember them all. If you write a few words down from the conversation you had, there is a better chance you’ll remember what they do and most importantly, their name.
Know your product/service.
There is nothing worse than someone asking you questions about your product or service and you answer “I don’t know”. Networking is a way to share about who you are and what you do. You want to make sure you have those details covered so you are prepared to have productive conversations. These are conversations that will hopefully lead to doing business with someone.
Review your promotions, products, and sales materials before attending an event. It never hurts to be too prepared.
Is walking into a room full of strangers scary? Absolutely. That is why confidence is key. You are the expert of your product or service. You know how you can help people best. Remind yourself of these things before going in. It may sound silly but you will be much better at holding a good conversation with someone if you feel like the expert. It is more uncomfortable to stumble through a conversation when you keep contradicting yourself because of nerves.
When networking for your business, keep these tips in mind to help you get the most out of your experience. It’s not as scary if you do it right!