Networking plays a major role in marketing your business and can save you a bundle of money in advertising. Following are six important components to keep in mind at your next networking event. You may think some of these components are obvious, but you’d be surprised to find how many new business owners make some of the most obvious mistakes.
1. Never sell your product or service while networking
Remember that you are there for the purpose of networking, not to recruit clients. The sole purpose of networking is to acquire, build and maintain informal business relationships. These business relationships carry the potential for future advantages in business opportunities that benefit both sides.
2. Never be the first one out the door as soon as the networking event is over
Being the first one out the door defeats the purpose of the networking event because soon after the major part of the event is over, people are more willing to talk about what they’ve just heard and how it applies to their business. It’s a powerhouse of energy and information and it’s your cue to listen and gather tips for your success.
3. Never wear your old jeans and sweatshirt to a networking event
It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you about being yourself and being comfortable, it reflects poorly if you show up at a business networking event in your old jeans and sweatshirt. How you manage your home business is your private matter, when networking is a business event it should be treated as such. Business impressions speak louder than business cards.
4. Never wait for someone to come and talk to you
You should never wait for someone to come to you in a networking event. You may feel a bit shy or out of place in the beginning, but remind yourself of the purpose for your coming to that event. It’s your business and you need to be proactive if you expect to succeed.
5. Never allow yourself to feel inferior
Others may have more experience than you in the networking arena but you are all at that event for the same reason. Try to spot those with more experience if this is your first time and follow their lead. Be open to learn from others and put any feelings of inferiority aside.
6. Never run out of business cards
Every networking event that you attend you must make sure you have more than enough business cards to hand out. People will not take you serious if you run out of business cards. Find out ahead of time the approximate number of people expected to turn out for that particular event.
Apply these six components to your next networking event and you will be better prepared to get the most out it, not to mention how much money you will be saving in advertising costs. By the way, networking isn’t always just about business partnerships, it has also been known to build long term friendships. So don’t be shy, get out there and learn a few things.