Welcome to 2019! This is going to be the year of connections. It’s the year you get all your contacts in order and take your networking skills to the next level.
Every business owner knows that constant networking is key to making sure your business thrives. Small businesses especially need lots of extra support from networking that larger businesses get through paid marketing and expensive consultant teams.
To make the most out of your networking expenditures, we have 4 tips to help you network like a pro.
Find Networking Groups in Your Area
You may be surprised to discover how many networking groups and organizations are in your area. See if you’re near or a BNI chapter or simply Google “Networking group near me”. Don’t be afraid to get out there and introduce yourself to any group of people.
You don’t have to join these networking groups right away. These members are often happy to meet one-on-one and connect right away.
One close connection is better than a hundred distant ones.
Give Before You Receive
The number one mistake novices make when networking is they expect to get something out of that meeting. Instead, your mindset should be on how you can help the other person. Showing that you are a valuable connection will build trust and a more secure connection.
Business owners want to know how you can add value to what they do. If you start giving them references or offer even just a small gift for them or their business, you will make a stronger impression, and they will be more inclined to support you back.
Deceitful business practices do not work when you’re a small business. People want to see honesty and integrity and will put their money towards that. When you’re networking, focus on building real relationships with people you honestly want to support.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to keep in touch. You can send an email or add them on social media. Do whatever you need to in order to stay in touch.
Your goal shouldn’t be to make as many connections as possible, it should be about fostering meaningful connections with the right people. One close connection is better than a hundred distant ones.
Going on a date once and then never speaking to that person again is not a meaningful relationship. The same principle applies to a meaningful business connection. You need to stay in touch.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to keep in touch. You can send an email, add them on social media, do whatever you need to in order to stay in touch.
2019 is the year you get your business on the right track. You have what it takes to grow your business, all you need now are the right connections to make it work.