I’ve published previous posts on business networking tips. If you’ve seen these posts, then you’ll know that I firmly believe that some form of business networking should be a part of your overall marketing strategy and plan.
Networking is great for personal development and confidence building, but it’s also the most cost effective way to develop business contacts and generate new business.
It’s important that you thoroughly prepare in advance for a networking event and that you maximise every opportunity at the actual event, but the crucial and most important business networking tip is to always, always, always ‘follow up’!
Grabbing as many business cards as possible isn’t what networking should be about! The ‘follow up’ is the most important part of the process. The ‘follow up’ should never be forgotten about or neglected!
Here’s some business networking tips on how to follow up –
Send an email
Checking in with someone to say that you enjoyed meeting them is always a good idea. An email also gives you the opportunity to share information or provide more information on areas that you maybe didn’t have time to discuss.
Connect on social media
Showing an interest and following or liking social media profiles or pages is also a great idea. Could you help new contacts out be sharing their social media content? LinkedIn might be the most appropriate channel to connect with business contacts.
Set up a meeting
If it’s appropriate to, then set up a follow up 1-2-1 meeting with your new business contact. This gives you more time and privacy to discuss ways in which you can help each other in more detail.
Opt in to their email marketing lists
This is another great way to show interest in a new business contact. Signing up to an email marketing list suggests that you’re interested in their product / service and want to hear more about what they have to offer.
Share your contacts
If you know the type of introduction that a new contact is looking for then put them in touch with each other. This will probably be best done through email.
3 business networking tips to remember –
Make the first move.
Don’t ‘stalk’ people or appear too pushy.
Always try to help people first.
Mastering the ‘follow up’ is essentially making sure that you do exactly what you said you were going to do!
Most people who network believe that networking is a viable way to generate new business. But these people often appear reluctant to commit to a networking strategy or plan.
If you think networking is potentially a lucrative source of income generation, then I recommend developing a strategy and plan to maximise the opportunity.