Networking is essential for any business, it gives you the opportunity to increase the number of professional contacts you have and allows you to interact with others to exchange information. Networking successfully though can sometimes be tricky, however here are five simple steps required to ensure you’re a successful networker.
Business cards are always useful to have on you, whether you’re going to an arranged exhibition or you just bump into someone randomly, being able to hand them a business card is a brief and easy way of telling them about your company, and what services/products you have to offer. This simple idea can have a huge impact on the success of your business, and allows room for many more opportunities, while also expanding the number of contacts you have available. Investing in a quality business card is vital to create the right impression.
Another simple but effective way of networking can be using pop-up banners. According to Jamie at Leeds Printing Company “Not only are these portable, but they’re still big enough to attract attention and draw people towards them.” A pop-up banner can be used in places such as an exhibition, or even on a busy high-street. Anywhere there could be potential business opportunities, a pop-up banner will maximise the chance of meeting new and professional people.
Without a doubt one of the simplest steps needed to be a successful networker, smiling. By doing something as simple as smiling, you are making yourself look approachable and friendly, which will instantly attract people towards you. You are also representing your business, therefore if you are friendly, it paints your business in a much more positive light compared to looking unfriendly or bored. Coming across friendly and making the right first impression will leave people wanting to get in contact with you again, which in turn could open many more doors for your business.
One of the most important steps out of all is to make sure you follow up on the people you’ve met after a meeting. This can be through a conversation over email, or even a phone call. Regardless of how it’s done, following up on the people you have met ensures they don’t just forget about you, and it also shows to them that you are keen to expand your business. This not only makes you look professional, but also demonstrates that you’re serious about expanding your number of professional contacts.
Having a free give away such as a free report to hand out or an online PDF file allows others to have a look at what you’re offering and gives them an insight into your business. The main appeal of this of course is that it’s free for whoever is interested, meaning they have nothing to lose by checking out what you have to say. One of the most effective ways of doing this would be to have a free 30-minute session with someone who is interested in your business.
These are just five out of many ways to successfully network, however by starting with these steps you’re already on the way to expanding your business and becoming a very successful networker.