Networking can be a very tricky thing to do but it is also one of the most necessary steps you need to take towards a successful promotion of your business; if you ask around, amongst people in sales about the secret behind success, most of them will accurately tell sum it up in one single word: networking.
In previous blogs I flagged out the importance of an accurate digital strategy for your business but this will only distribute your product amongst potential clients, while networking will allow you to explore different markets, via other people in your same line of business, or perhaps generate new ideas for your product by discussing them with your peers, or even generating alliances with a kindred business person. Networking can ultimately prove to be very beneficial for you and for your business, and in this blog I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learnt about this particular marketing strategy.
1. Always carry a business card: This is one of the first things I learnt in my early networking experiences. When trying to get someone’s contact details, you can always take your phone out and take their name and their number but a business card adds a touch of professionalism, especially because it not only has your details but it also includes your brand, which is the very purpose of your business networking efforts. So, try to carry as many calling cards as you can, you never know when you are going to meet the best next person for your business.
2. Make contact: one of the things I learnt from Byron Read is that your business opportunity is a phone call away, so make that call! Once, you have made contact with someone you dimmed interesting then get in touch with him or her, by any means, personally I think a good old fashion call is the way to go, but an email works as well. However, try to do some homework before hand; try to do some research on this person you’ll be meeting, try to find out about their personal tastes and use them to break the ice. This will allow you to find a common ground, other than business, that can create a smooth business when you go into the brass tax of your meeting.
3. Play the long game: Talking about business can be a little uncomfortable, I’m actually terrible at it when I’m not sufficiently comfortable, only because I get very nervous and instead of promoting my product I end up talking nonsense. So, take it easy, talk about something else when you’re trying to establish a business relationship, find about the other person, try to understand where they are coming from, what their tastes in life are, and when you feel aloof enough then talk about your business. You’ll find it to be much easier.
4. Your marketing agency: Limiting your network is not a very thing to do. You may actually find out that people that seem to be outside your kind of market can actually be of great value to your business. If you have a marketing agency behind you, it can be a good idea finding out if they are a Google certified agency in London, this means that they handle different accounts and they can, therefore, put you in touch with many different kinds of people when hosting a networking event. So, remember to meet as many as you can, regardless of their area of expertise.