The Internet has made it easier than ever to build up networks and connections with new people and audiences. But the truth is, it only gives you so much. The nature of the web platform makes it too easy to be fickle, and that means a lot of work involved just to keep attracting your core support. There is, however, a better way of building solid relationships that last – and that’s by getting out there and meeting people face to face.
Today, we’re going to discuss how you can make the most out of attending business networking events. If you want to create a solid foundation for your business, you have to get out there and meet people. I appreciate it can be tough – particularly if you are a quiet type who prefers dealing with people online. But the simple fact is that human interaction will create far stronger bonds than any blog post, social media update, or cute picture of a kitten.
With this in mind, here are some ideas on making the most out of your business networking. Take a look and see what you think.
The idea behind networking of any kind is to forge new or stronger relationships. So, if there are industry events – such as awards ceremonies or trade shows – attend them. You never know who you might meet. If you supplier invites you to a new product launch, go – even if you are unlikely to use the product. Every time you interact with another person, you have a chance of striking a deal or being introduced to an interested party.
Hold your own events
Nothing is stopping you from staging an event yourself. It could be for a product launch, or you might decide that industry events in your location are underserved. Not only is it a great way to get a name for yourself, but it’s also a chance to meet other industry faces. And, as the organizer of the show, you will enjoy a lot of respect – assuming the event goes well, of course.
Always be ready to sell
Make sure you stock up on business cards, flyers with product information, and anything else you can lay your hands on. Networking events can be busy occasions, and no one will remember everyone they meet. Sticking a card in someone’s pocket might trigger their memory later on, and gives you a better chance of reconnecting. It’s also worth being ready to make a sale. Something like a PayPal credit card reader is easy to set up, and you take orders wherever you are. However, there is one thing to bear in mind. While you should always be ready to sell, networking isn’t only about selling. Get to know people, and build relationships. Sales will come if people are interested – but you will make a bad name for yourself if you are pushy.
Seek out partnerships
Finally, use your networking events to find complementary businesses to your own. If you can create a relationship with another local business, you will be able to offer your customers a far stronger offer. If you are a web copywriter, for example, then finding a web developer to work with could provide great dividends.