By far the most effective way of building a relationship with a business owner, is to physically get out and meet them face to face. This is networking.
Without realising, we network every single day through mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Text, Phone Calls, and Emails. However, how many times do you call someone to introduce your business services or product to them, and they say, “Can you email me the information”? 9 times out of 10, that email will get ignored.
This is why you need to get out and build personal relationships with other business owners. The old saying is, “It’s not what you know its who you know,” but then in terms of networking, it’s also “who knows you.”
Some people are afraid of the whole networking scene, but it really can be quite good fun, believe it or not. People who are in that room with you are interested to hear about what you do, especially if they have never seen you before. You are the one they are excited to meet.
Take on board these tips when you set upon your networking journey:
1. Give Before You Receive
A common mistake made by many business owners is that they enter the room with a target to get a sale for their service or product. This is the wrong approach.
Go armed with the knowledge of contacts you already have in your locker and set yourself a target to help at least one person by offering them a connection of your own that can help their business.
If you do this consistently, you will gain a reputation for being someone who always helps others, and I can promise the favours will be reciprocated in time.
2. Don’t Be Negative
The human race naturally goes into a negative zone when they are nervous, and it’s just human nature (it’s cold out, not many people here, it is too busy for me, its way too early).
Be positive, and have a smile on your face, make sure people recognise the feeling that you’re excited to be there.
3. Move Around The Room
Don’t just stay talking to one person; you are there to network, so need to meet as many people as possible. In all fairness, you may well be holding up the person you are talking to as they want to network with somebody else. A good tip to end a conversation and move on is to ask the person you are talking to who they are looking to connect with; then, if you know somebody in the room who happens to be in that industry, you can go over and introduce them. Alternatively, ask them who they know in the place and ask for an introduction yourself to somebody that interests you.
4. Be Consistent
I call this the Philip Schofield effect; now, this guy pops up everywhere, This Morning, Dancing on Ice, a new game show once in a while, Money Supermarket adverts both on TV and Radio, you all know the fella. This is what you have to do, attend networking events as regular as possible. People will say, ‘do you ever do any work,’ well, this is work, you are meeting new people all the time and keeping relationships going with existing connections.
There Are 5 Types Of Networker:
The Flirt – good at charming the person they are talking to, has a way with words to get what they want
The Detective – this is the ultimate networker; they find out who will be attending and will research the people they wish to connect with on the day. This person will stalk your facebook and your LinkedIn profiles
The Promoter – this person is someone who will go around praising someone else’s services or product. They will help you get connections because they are big fans of what you do or offer
The Dude – has a reputation, somebody everybody knows and wants to know
The Comedian – somebody who relies on funnies, one-liners, and jokes to get attention. Has an answer for everything, but it is quite fun to be around.