Networking is a great tool, whether you’re building a business or working for somebody. I’m not talking about the computer kind, although it’s a great tool. No, I’m talking about business networking. Both types of networking are setup to provide for communication and business support. Although great for business, computer networks are impersonal.
Business networking, on the other hand, is very personal. It all revolves around people meeting people and building relationships. These relationships may come into play immediately or they may at a later date. The key point to remember, these relationships are built on trust and sincerity. You should focus on the other person. Why? To set you up as someone who is worthy of trust and help. This can pay off big when you need it.
A key point to remember, business networking can happen at any time, anywhere, as long as you're interacting with other people. Standing in line waiting to order supper or for a movie? You have the opportunity to network. Just strike up a conversation with the person(s) next to you.
With that in mind, make sure that you have your business cards with you, and make sure that they are accurate. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Really, though, did you check your number? Did you check your email? You want folks to reach you, right? Use a standard and professional design. Odd sizes and odd styles don’t speak of professionalism.
As mentioned earlier, networking is about building relationships, but not just to help you. It has to be a two-way street. You have to be willing to help the other person. If you come across as a “Me Only” person, then networking is not going to work for you. Remember, you're making an impression, and you want it to be a positive one. You want the other person to remember you as a person who they can turn to, or offer support when needed. Hold off on the sales pitch. It's not right early on, but you might have the opportunity to pitch later, when the bond has been built.
So, business networking is important, and can be easy, or can be tough. With that, GCLG has put together these great pointers that help to kickstart networking for you.
By: Ryan Wilson