Updated: Dec 10, 2021
How do I improve my Business English?
What is Networking?
The saying goes...
'Look at your network and that shows your net worth!'
Business networking is the process of meeting others to exchange information, make new professional contacts and create helpful relationships. The ability of making and having great contacts is a vital skill for those in business and in your personal life. It will help with promotions, new jobs, gaining and maintaining customers or even keeping up to date with industry knowledge and making new friends.
Knowing how to network in a fun, but professional manner will make it easier and faster for you to meet and grow valuable connections for you and your business. This skill is also extremely sought after by employers and management.
Tips to Successful networking
As the Girl Guides and Scouts always say.... BE PREPARED!
1) Sounds simple – but you actually need to sign up to attend some potential networking events. Face to face connections are so much stronger and more effective than the online version. So, look at the local industry publications and speak to your colleagues (or even customers) and get some recommendations and sign up. Put the event(s) in your diary...
2) What are your goals for the event? Remember that quality is far more important than quantity. It is much better to make one new meaningful contact than to simply collect 10 business cards – make your goal both achievable and meaningful to your career.
Example: To meet 2 n
ew potential customers / find a business mentor / meet a potential future employer / make 3 new contacts in your industry / practice your elevator pitch to two interested parties (note: interested!! No spouting it to everyone who walks past – let them ask... So, what do you do?...)
3) Prepare yourself.
a) Make sure that you are smartly dressed (remember the 7 second rule!).
b) Do you have your business cards?
c) Make sure your phone is on silent.
d) Prepare your elevator pitch... Off you go..
4) Look confident and smile as you walk in. This will help to give the impression that you are a friendly person. In addition, don’t wait to be approached.
Use your initial confidence, approach the friendliest person that you see and say Hello – quick tip.. it helps if they are looking around a little and are not engaged in an intense conversation with someone else. It is also easier if that person is on their own and perhaps looking a little uncertain too..
5) During the Event... perfect the following habits – some of them may feel a little strange at first, but it will get easier the more you do them (doesn’t everything?) and these techniques will help to endear you to strangers:
a) Maintain eye contact
b) Nod your head in understanding
c) Actively listen and with empathy
d) Ask open, relevant questions – to show that you are interested
e) Pay attention to their body language – Non verbal communication is as
important as what they say
f) Stay positive and use humour when relevant or appropriate. No one wants
to stand and and talk to a negative person for very long.
g) Introduce people to each other where possible. Networking is all about
making connections and if you can introduce people to each other,
hopefully they will do the same for you in the future.
Practice attend networking events and focus on making genuine human connections. If you meet just one person at your first event... that is one person more than you knew before and you have DONE It!!
Don’t underestimate how much confidence that will give you for the next one.
The first of anything is ALWAYS the most nerve-wracking... so well done!
6) Follow up
Whatever you promised ... do – send that CV / drop a message providing the name and contact number of the plumber you recommended
Anyone you wish to connect with again – arrange it the following morning, while it is fresh in their memory, as well as yours.
I want to super-charge my network AND net worth NOW!
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