“It’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.” A famous quote about business that is totally true. I’m sure as a business owner you have been told countless times that networking is the key to success.
Networking with the right people can gain you new opportunities and new business. But how do you even get started? Here are a few tips to get you networking like a pro.
Always Be Ready
It doesn’t matter if you are going to a specific networking event or just the grocery store, always be ready to network. Carry business cards and be ready to brag a little. There’s nothing wrong with talking about the accomplishments of you, or your company to get others interested. On the flip side, remember that networking is about the exchange of information between two people. Make sure whoever you are conversing with is engaged and interested so that it’s not just a one-sided conversation.
Be Friendly & Talk With Everyone
One of the first rules of networking is something your mother probably taught you when you started school. Be nice to others. It doesn’t matter if you never talk to this person again, first impressions are everything. That person may have the opportunity to give a recommendation about your business based on that one interaction you had at the grocery store.
Be Memorable & Remember Others
Good networkers are friendly and talk with everyone, great networkers also are memorable and remember those they talk to. Stand out by wearing a signature color, jewelry, or even company branded shirts.
Now that you stand out, make sure you practice remembering others. This one small thing can really impress people and make them feel special that you remembered them. Look for their signature item, or try word games and mnemonics to remember names.
Network Online & In Person
Networking online is easy to do. You can do it anywhere, anytime. Make sure that you area making meaningful connections by interacting with others in your industry. Post meaningful content regularly so others can see you but also comment and engage with your connections.
Online networking is great but don’t underestimate the power of a face to face connection. Attend industry and community events to just meet people. Don’t be afraid to get out of the house and promote your business.
No matter where you start, remember the point of networking is to promote your business and nobody knows your business better than you. Be confident, excited and engage with your audience. You never know where your next big opportunity may come from.
Blogpost written by Stacy Werner, Bartercard Buffalo