Business networking, whether it’s evenings, day time or breakfast meetings can be a valuable part of a businesses profit generating armoury.
Structured networking promotes word of mouth recommendations, one of the best forms of business generation there is.
The important point here is of course, “Structured” networking. Anyone can chat in a room full of people, but if you leave empty handed, with no new contacts, sales leads or enquiries then you have been wasting your time.
A good structured meeting has several unique features that make it work for the attendees.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a member based group, or a free for all meeting, the principles are the same.
A good structured meeting should offer you;
- An opportunity to tell everyone what your company does
- An opportunity to tell everyone how you help your customers
- An opportunity to ask for specific introductions you would like
- An opportunity for everyone in the room to take your card
- An opportunity to chat with potential customers
Being an effective networker requires a little preparation. In most well managed meetings to will have the a brief period when you can stand and tell everyone who you are and what you want. Don’t waste this by not being prepared with what you want to say.
If you are specific, and have someone you want to be introduced to, you actually stand much more chance of gaining that introduction.
Good networking is a process of farming rather than hunting. You are building relationships and as anyone should know, relationships worth having don’t come quickly.
This makes it important to repeat your visits on a frequent basis, so that you become a regular. People trust familiarity.
Becoming a member is of course the ideal for building closer ties with other members.
Long standing networking groups such as The ROOM, a Bedford based weekly breakfast networking group, will actively benefit your business.
Additionally, listen to what other people are looking for. If you can help them, you will create an unspoken situation whereby they will subconsciously feel indebted to you for helping their business.
If you give to others, you will gain trust and as a direct consequence, will receive referrals yourself.
If you join a group that allows all of these activities, promotes active participation and is dynamic, then if you are an active member and work to help others then you will profit.