In this blog we are going to cover the topic of how to feel confidence networking and build your business. We will explore why networking is so important and strategies you can start to implement today to help you on your networking path.
Why is networking so important?
- Avoids complacency
Even today it’s still not enough to just sit behind your screen and run your business from there. You need to network online and offline to build relationships. It’s easy to get cozy and not get out there and do face-to-face interactions. It’s easy to get complacent and not interact. This is not ideal for your business.
2. Building trust and credibility
Networking face to face should be part of every person’s know/ like/ trust marketing strategy. Networking is a much more personal approach and it builds trust way faster than online. Just ask yourself- who do you trust more? Someone you interact online that you have never met in person or someone you have had a real face to face conversation with? Who would you rather do business with?
3. You meet new like-minded people
Networking in your local area is a fabulous way to start. You will probably find that there are actually quite a few networking events. If you go to different groups, you’ll find some similar faces. This will speed up the business building impact. Meeting like-minded people not only extends your potential business circle but can also help to foster personal growth.
Now that you are convinced that networking is a must for your marketing strategy here are seven tips on how to feel confidence networking and build your business:
- Identify your purpose for networking
Your ultimate purpose is to build your business. When networking, you’re building your business through interacting with people. So your real purpose for networking is connecting with people.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to networking events is they try to make a sale. They think their purpose is to make a sale. They get in there and they throw their business cards around. I literally had them thrown around like a pack of cards. This does not work.
They think that if they hadn’t made a sale, then they’re not going to come back. And in reality, they are most likely not going to make a sale at a networking event. Remember, networking is for connecting not direct selling.
2. Identify your purpose for attending that specific event
Another side of purpose understands the purpose for going to that particular networking event. Maybe there’s a speaker at the conference that you wanted to speak to or hear speak. Maybe there’s some other people there you want to meet. Or maybe it’s because it’s in a certain location. Understanding why you are attending a networking event will help you with our next point.
3.Have something to talk about
Have some things to talk about. Think about this before you get to the event. Go back to why you are attending that event.
Talk about things about yourself that aren’t just about business. Know why you’re in business. Know what you do (work on that 30 second elevator pitch), who your ideal client is and how you help them. Think about recent clients and how you’ve helped them. Who was your best client? What are some of your challenges in your business?
4. Ask other people questions
For you to feel most comfortable about networking is to ask other people questions.
Here are some great icebreakers:
- What do you do?
- How long have you been in your business?
- What drove you to get involved in your business?
- How did you start out?
- What’s your favourite type of client to deal with or favourite type of problem to solve?
- What’s been the most fun in your business so far?
- What have been some of the challenges?
- What changes have you been through in your business?
Be genuinely curious. There might even be a way that you can serve that person. Perhaps you can help them as a client. Or perhaps you can connect them to someone. This helps to build your credibility.
5. Bring a friend
Don’t spend the entire event talking to the friend. You can have a friend that you can introduce someone to. If you see somebody that you know go up and talk to them. They may introduce you to somebody as well. See how the networking web starts to expand?
6. Look for body language
Look for body language in the interaction to see if you can break into the conversation. Look for a person or group that’s open in their stance.
Someone standing like an open triangle with one side missing is a good option. Don’t try and break into a group that is standing in a close circle. It will come across as forced and awkward.
If there’s an opening for you, come in and simply say hi, your name and ask them what they do. It takes a little courage and practice. Remember that other people at the event are all in the same boat.
7. Be consistent
It is so important to rinse and repeat. Have the consistency to come back again. Networking is not an automatic money-spinner. It is a platform to connect with people and build relationships. Building relationships takes time. It takes time to build trust. Networking is how people get to know you and your business. They will be more likely to recommend you to their network. Word of mouth is just as powerful today as it ever was. It cuts through the clutter and saves you a ton of marketing dollars.
Hopefully this blog has helped you to understand the power of face to face networking and given you strategies on how to feel confidence networking and building your business.
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