Networking is creating personal contacts and relationships with people. Behind every business, company, product and service there are people. Business occurs between people and therefore building and expanding your networking community is essential for your business.
Networking business’ benefits
- Learning from other people experience
- Best customers are coming from referral recommendations
- Being updated
- Sharing ideas and efforts
- Being exposed to opportunities
Ways for building your network of contacts
- Quality is more important than quantity - define your objectives in advance, meaning that if you are coming to a convention and want to meet potential customers/suppliers/new technology then you have to focus on them.
- Join professional associations.
- Participate in relevant forums.
- Participate in conventions, seminars and business events.
- Follow up - very important to contact people you met after few days telling them that it was nice to meet them and invite them for a non-formal meeting for checking possible opportunities.
- Do not try to sell anything, just make a good impression.
- While speaking with people (for instance, in a convention), create a discussion (or a chat) atmosphere and not a sale meeting one. If you are interested in the other person's business or vise versa then exchange business cards and set a meeting later.
- Ask the person, that you are speaking with if he knows who can answer a question about . . .in this way he might contact you with another person in your objectives list.
- Offer information, advise, support and connections with no expectation of return. This will put you in the center and you will see a significant expand in your network. As a result, people will know much more on your business and they will refer new customers to your business.
Connecting to other people eventually will be worthwhile, much sooner than you think.
Assaf Katzir is owner and CEO of Katzir Soze Investments Ltd
Additional useful information for management, start-ups and small businesses is available at http://www.business-starter.com