In the current business world, it is common for people to conduct business with people whom they like and trust. Professional networking can create the opportunities that won’t appear otherwise. Professionals and leading entrepreneurs further add that success depends not only on what one knows through learning and experience, but it also involves meeting different people along the way. The latter is important for career development and successful business.
As an entrepreneur, one can gain a lot from people with different experiences and professional expertise. This article tries to look at twelve methods of improving business networking skills that in the end result in the growth and success of any organization.
1. Be Helpful
This is important because when people in your network get stronger, your organization also improves tremendously. Similarly, research shows that if you help people in your network, the eventual outcome is that they often end up helping you later through tough and trying times. Also, as per the law of reciprocity, such people may feel more inclined to return the favor. Methods which they may use to offer help to your business include sharing their expertise, ideas as well as information, and promoting your accomplishments and qualification.
2. Make The Right Connections
Connect people to each other. For business transactions, the process is mutually advantageous. The process involves one person buying a commodity so as to add to their assets and satisfy the required needs while the other party looks to add to their profits. Therefore, by connecting people who you know can benefit from each other, you ensure an overall improvement in your businesses network.
3. Establish A Reputation
In professional businesses, people opt to build functional business relationships by considering those who are valuable. Hence, it is essential to establish an environment that makes others look to you as a reputable and reliable person, who is willing to meet the needs of customers. They should see you also as talented, valuable and, most importantly, helpful. As a result, people will be highly encouraged and motivated to work and establish connections with your organization. Lastly, you may let people know what you are learning and accomplishing through emails, blogging, and conversations.
4. Maintain Visibility
Communicate with your customers through social media sites and other web services and let them know about the various projects that the organization is pursuing. Because, if people are familiar with the work the organization is doing, they are motivated to begin, or continue working with the business. Otherwise, lack of visibility implies that projects and important transactions never happened.
Maintain regular and consistent communication and interact with people whom you find beneficial to the future of your business. Communicate through the emails, social media, blogs, and in-person.
5. Meet A Wide Range Of People
The best way of getting things done efficiently is by ensuring that the majority of deals happen quickly and effectively. Move out of the confines of the organization and interact with other leading entrepreneurs through work seminars and retreats. Other methods include Quora, getting introduced to other people by those who know your organization, personal interest groups, classes, sports, parties, and workshops among many others. Experts in the field of business also advise not to forget about social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, as they are widely used in the current world of business.
6. Be Intentional
Being intentional involves going where the market takes you. Interact and hang out with people both offline and online. Connect with different entrepreneurs and build the support system required for the growth of your business network. Share valuable data and have meaningful and interesting conversations with different people. Lastly, take the initiative and meet the people who interact with those you’re engaging with as this helps to further broaden your organization’s network.
7. Think Long-Term
An important thing to always remember is that connections open doors, but relationship is the sole catalyst of closing important deals. Networking does not only involve the exchange of business cards or use of social media sites. It’s most advantageous when people choose to establish long lasting business relationships. Such relationships take time to build, so it’s important to keep in touch with those who are important to you and to the organization.
8. Accept Failure
Failures are there in life, and in the world of business, getting up after taking a couple of blows is the true test of success. In networking, entrepreneurs also face their fair share of failures. Customers may reject business messages and calls, decline invites and requests for introductions. Remember that failure is a hidden success and it is much better to try and fail than to not try at all.
A widely overlooked factor in trying to improve one’s social media site is through the use of listening skills. It’s common for people to enjoy talking about themselves and if you show interest in what they have to say, they will appreciate and highly regard your company. Listening helps one learn about the challenges faced by different entrepreneurs as well as get to understand them better.
When faced with a challenge as an entrepreneur looking to improve the businesses network, it’s necessary to make the needed inquiries. In most cases, you’re sure to get the required answers. Ask and request for appointments, advice, and introductions.
Create a reputation of a person who delivers on their business promises and is also persistent in their endeavors. Finish the tasks that need completion, make payments, or deliver products. Furthermore, look through those ignored emails, and pay attention to important feedback on various issues left by clients and customers across all your platforms. Remember to fulfill what you promised to do for others as this builds a proper rapport with the public.
12. Do Not Settle For Small Successes
To build a fruitful and successful network, it’s also important to always want more for your business. Expand your organization’s horizon by using the latest technologies, identifying market gaps, and creating fruitful partnerships with leading entrepreneurs in the similar field of business.
The twelve points above are some of the key methods on how entrepreneurs are sure to improve their professional networks. Successful businessmen may also try to write articles about their various fields or general business practices, as this can attract attention of potential customers and partners. However, before sending out a publication, you need a proofreader to ensure that the text is error-free. So, follow the above mentioned tips and enjoy your quickly growing professional network!
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer at ProfessionalResumeSolutions. Apart from writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.