Three networking tips for your businessTanushree Mitra
Some people love networking; others can’t stand it. Regardless, most see it as necessary in the world of business.
In an article last year, Forbes claimed that networking is crucial to any career: that it’s “not only about trading information… [it] serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits.”
Whether you enjoy the process or not, if you feel there’s a chance networking could benefit you or your business, it’s worth putting yourself out there. Let these three tips guide you.
Know what networks you want to explore
Maximise your chances of networking success by placing yourself in the right circles. Are there networking events in your city or town that will attract members of the same industry? Do you know where potential clients like to network amongst eachother? Are there any cross-industry conferences or workshops happening soon that have a reputation for connecting professionals? Doing your research is crucial, and will pay off in the long run.
Have your elevator pitch ready
Crafting the perfect elevator pitch can be time-consuming, so a little research won’t go astray. Look at some examples for inspiration; then think about your goals, how you’ll explain what you do, your ‘USP’ (unique selling proposition), how to engage (for example, by asking a question) and how you’ll go about pulling all of that information together. Then practice, practice, practice.
Follow-up with potential connections
You’ve done the hard part: you’ve walked into a room full of people you’ve never met, approached a few of them for a chat about your business, and exchanged contact details after the conversations that went well. That’s a great start. Next, you’ll need to remind them about that conversation you had, and communicate any next steps you want them to take.
Research shows that most people prefer being contacted by email than other channels and that shorter emails are better, so keep your email as simple as possible: remind them of where you met, the conversation you had, and where you’d like to take things from here.