Business Networking – How To Connect With Relevant People?
Business networking is a powerful marketing strategy that helps businesses seek profitable business opportunities by networking with like-minded business people. Effective networking helps companies establish new business relationships and generate new business opportunities at the same time. In fact, business networking is not only cost effective but also much more effective than traditional advertising and public relations strategies. This is because, in place of using company capital, business networking relies on personal commitments.
Here are some tips to connect with other individuals in a way that will help you extract the full benefits of business networking.
Business networking is all about making connections with people. Accordingly, you need to be genuine and authentic. Putting on a ‘fake’ face and trying to be someone you cannot be will serve no good. Rather, be who you are and try to build trust with other people based on what you have to offer. By building strong relationships, you can not only strengthen your outreach in the market but also enhance your brand value.
Define Clear Goals and Objectives
Before you start your business networking endeavors, make sure you define clear goals and objectives for the same. Ask yourself “Why do I need to participate in networking meetings and what do I want to establish by forming a strong network?”. Based on this, you can choose potential groups and networks that will help you get what you are looking for. Apart from making business connections, these networking groups also help you learn, build contacts and participate in fruitful debates and discussions.
Look & Learn
Browse through several forums and online communities belonging to your niche industry, especially those that are part of B2B marketplaces. You will get to interact with several businesses and representatives who are members of those forums and B2B marketplaces. Take special note of the tone and attitude of the group and take part in the discussions there. This will allow you to showcase your knowledge and expertise in your particular industry and establish your reputation as an expert.
Ask Open Ended Questions
While participating in networking conversations, it is very important to consider the kind of questions that you ask. Your aim should be to stimulate a discussion and prompt other users to participate. Therefore, avoid asking objective questions that can be answered with a 'yes' or 'no'. Instead, put forward questions that ask who, what, where, when, why and how. These questions throw open a discussion and encourage others to participate.
Become a Powerful Resource for Others
Through your content on the web and your activities on forums and communities, including B2B marketplaces, focus on becoming a powerful resource relevant in your niche industry. When you establish yourself as an expert, people will turn to you for advice, suggestions and ideas. This will give you an opportunity to connect with relevant people of your industry and strengthen your network.
Get Referrals from People
Have a clear understanding about what you want to do, and streamline your networking endeavors accordingly. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others.
Disclaimer : Sabra Easterday is the owner and founder of MatchB2B. Sabra is also a lawyer with a special interest in business issues and e-marketplaces. Notwithstanding that Sabra Easterday is a lawyer, nothing in this article and no services of MatchB2B or its website are legal services and no attorney-client relationship exists between any reader of this article or user, customer or potential customer of MatchB2B, and MatchB2B, its website or Sabra Easterday.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabra Easterday is the founder and managing member of MatchB2B, an online B2B Marketplace that acts as a platform for international businesses to come together and buy and sell products and services. The website also allows businesses to post RFBs and place bids in order to further business transactions.