Because Small Business is Big Business

Personal Network

Personal NetworkI discussed the power of your personal network. We talked about why networking is so important: How it gives your company more exposure, introduces you to the right people, accelerates sales and helps you reach your goals. However, I did not discuss HOW to network effectively. So, as a follow-up to last week’s blog, I brainstormed six tips to ensure successful networking.

  1. Establish Your Goal What would you like to accomplish in your networking endeavors? Would you like to increase your number of customers, learn about a new job opportunity, or becoming close to leaders in your industry? Before going out and networking, know your objective. That way, you’ll establish a more precise networking strategy. Keep your goal in mind when considering who to reach out to and what networking events to attend.
  2. Be Prepared Practice, practice, practice. Knowing the message you want to convey to those you are talking to is vital. Furthermore, bring business cards, resumes or at the very least your phone so that you can store contact information for later use.
  3. Be Visible You can’t network if you’re not visible. Go to as many networking events and community functions as possible, join a variety of clubs and groups, and reach out to co-workers and business contacts. The more visible you are, the more opportunities you’ll have to network.
  4. Network Online Networking not only takes place in person but also online. In an increasingly digital world, it is important to master the in’s and out’s of online networking. You can network through LinkedIn, Facebook or even Twitter. This NFIB Article outlines three social media tools that can help you network successfully
  5. Foster Strong Relationships It is important to be known as a trustworthy and reliable contact. Therefore, work on cultivating meaningful relationships. The saying, “quality over quantity” comes into play in this tip. You can’t expect your contact to use your business, refer you to someone, or perform a favor if you do not have a strong relationship first.
  6. Maintain Those Relationships What’s the point of establishing relationships if you are not going to maintain them? Whether you send a quick email, make a phone call or reach out on social media, the smallest gesture can help you sustain relationships.

Networking is one of the most powerful skills you can learn. I rely on networking every day. It’s one of the main ways we meet new people, learn about emerging products and services in our industry and increase our client base. These six techniques will help you both improve and increase your networking.

If you are looking for more ways to improve your networking and sales skills check out my other articles