Business success today is all about meeting the right people, making the right connections, and fostering the right kind of relationship. It really is all about adding value, and when it comes to networking, you have to think about the fact that the more you give to your network, the more you can expect in return from it.
Business networking can make a world of difference for a company. Meeting the right person can be the difference between signing a new account and struggling to meet your monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals. However, before you go out and attend all of the networking events in your area, you have to devise a strategy.
There’s a certain magic touch to networking successfully. It’s not about how many business cards you can take home on a given day; when it comes to business networking, it’s not quantity, but quality. Meeting people for the sake of meeting people isn’t worth it, in order for networking to be fruitful, you have to meet the right people at the right time.
Tips to Networking Efficiently and Successfully
Find the right group. To network successfully, you have to know who your key target audience is and what value you can add to them. You need to find your right niche or group in order to meet the right people, otherwise it’ll feel like you are simply wasting your time. For example, if you’re looking to do business or expand your footprint locally and regionally, consider attending events organized by the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce.
Determine the type of contacts you want to meet. Networking events are typically full of people, but like we said, it’s not about meeting everyone. Before you start handing out your business cards, make sure you take a moment to determine whom you need to meet and why. Doing this will allow you to invest your time only in the business relationships that will truly benefit you. Pro tip: make sure you know the value you can add to them, transmitting this will be key to establishing a worthwhile connection for both of you.
Tell a good story. If you want someone to be hooked and interested in what you have to offer, forget about your product or service specs. Instead focus on your value proposition; how will your product or service make life easier for them, how will it improve X or Y experience. You need to be able to answer these questions. Also, keep in mind that when someone asks what you do, what they are truly asking is how you can be useful or helpful to them.
Always follow up. Follow up shortly after you meet someone and make sure you reference where you met them and what you discussed. “Hi (Name), it was wonderful to meet you yesterday at the Folsom Chamber of Commerce networking event. I look forward to continuing our talk on how (X, Y, or Z product) can help you grow your business.” Don’t let too much time pass by before you follow-up and make sure to keep the personal touch and tone to make the business relationship strong.