Thursday, 31 October 2013

Five Powerful Tips On How To Be A Better Networker Today

The best connections in this world almost always lead to favourable things. Such is the case for entrepreneurs because connections (the most significant ones, anyhow) can build a business and help it prosper. You could meet someone at an international conference, and several days later be discussing overseas projects with that someone. You could be introduced to a friend of a friend and discover that the person works for a financial institution — and you’re looking to fund a new venture. New connections can get you to where you need to be in business.

While it sounds quite easy enough to meet someone and get into a conversation, there is an art to networking. When you know how to be a better networker, you inevitably grow your contacts and secure the future success of your business. Here are five powerful tips to get you started.

1. Go to events relevant to your industry and participate.
Industry events are ideal for every entrepreneur. Whether you’re a small business owner with a brick-and-mortar shop, an online company, or a home-based startup, you need to get out, meet new people in your industry, and start building those connections. Industry events allow you to have an audience for your business pitch, to introduce what your business is about, and to put a friendly and trustworthy face to that business. So find out what events are related to your industry, sign up, and start meeting people.

2. Be prepared for the typical questions and be open to establishing commonalities with the people you meet.
When you’re at a networking event, you’re likely to get asked with, “What do you do?” Instead of answering with the usual, “I head a company that sells the best books for entrepreneurs,” reply with something more specific. Something that’ll offer up a solution, like “I publish books that give step-by-step guides and market-tested strategies for first time online entrepreneurs.”

At the same time, be willing to get to know the other party and don’t just ask the typically asked question. Get to know the other person by discovering common grounds, and not just focus on their profession.

3. Give first, and give more without expecting anything in return.
Authenticity is highly prized at industry events. When you’re giving something away, be genuine about it without expecting anything, and you’re likely to get more in return.

4. Cultivate existing relationships, remember the small stuff, and know how to give away business cards.
Networking can also mean building on your existing relationships and making sure you keep in touch because it’s rude to suddenly contact someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time and ask for a referral or pitch an idea. Think about it. Why would you want an online business with someone whom you haven’t heard from in a long while?

So nourish relationships by recalling what may seem like small stuff such as birthdays or anniversaries, and call or email just to touch base. Also, when it comes to giving your business cards, know the polite way to do it. Don’t just give it without a thought. Try to hand it over after a conversation, ask for the other person’s card, and always take a moment to look at the card.

5. Use social media
Finally, strengthen those existing and new relationships by using LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, and continue the conversations online.

Do you have have any questions or suggestions? Write in comment section.

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