5 Tips For Effective Business Networking
How do I effectively network to increase sales for my brand? This is a you may have asked yourself, but haven't been able to easily answer. Networking with people inside and outside of your industry is always beneficial. Building a strong, large network not only puts you in front of more prospective clients, but it also helps you form genuine connections that can support you professionally or personally in all aspects of your life. Here are 5 tips to use at your next networking event that will help you build relationships:
1. Break the ice with a smile. People often aren't sure of the best way to approach someone. Every person is different, and sometimes it can be hard to gauge how each person responds to introductions. Therefore, you can't go wrong with a smile! It shows that you're inviting and open to learning more.
2. Ask specific questions. Being attentive and asking specific questions can help you understand someone's profession in greater detail. Don't be afraid to ask more questions about their background and goals. People like talking about their experiences, and the more personal they get, the deeper the relationship gets.
3. Keep your network in mind. As your speaking with someone, it's always useful to keep your existing network in mind. You may know someone that could prove very helpful for the person you're talking to. Referrals and introductions are excellent ways to maintain the relationship, and they're bound to return the favor sometime too!
4. Stay engaged. Maintaining eye contact, asking questions, and being receptive are all key elements to successful networking. You don't want to put someone off because they think you're "losing interest". It could look poorly on you and your brand.
5. Follow up! Taking a person's business card and keeping in touch can help you build the relationship further. Follow up with them and schedule a time to meet again in person. This next meeting will allow you both to learn more about each other's business goals, and who you're both looking to meet.
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