Are You A Networking Novice?

Are You A Networking Novice?

When it comes to growing your ‘little black book’ of professional networks, there’s no better way to achieve it than attending networking events. From breakfast clubs, to afternoon meetings and networking events that help with charitable causes – there really is an event for everyone, so how do you know where to start, what you should say and where you’ll find the contacts that can help you? Avanti Group explains…

Unfortunately there is not  a qualification that can certify you as a ‘networker’ and for some it can still be a new and daunting marketing strategy.  With markets crowded, it is more important than ever to be getting out from behind your desk and meeting other professionals with whom you can build mutually beneficial relationships.

How will it benefit me?

The art of networking is building, growing and maintaining relationships  – you no doubt do this away from business already, so you’re simply transferring those skills to benefit your business when networking professionally. These relationships should benefit both parties, the benefit in the initial relationship isn’t always financial but you will find when it’s done right other benefits include;

  • Personal development
  • Information and Expertise
  • Support
  • Referrals

How do I become an effective networker?

Shift your initial focus – Of course you will go with your own agenda, everyone has something they want to take from it, but you should be asking yourself how you can help the others in the room.

Create a ‘database’ – Build  a list of contacts that you can take to the meeting, people you trust and already work with – people that you would be willing to refer to others and people who you may be able to connect to those in the room. This could be almost anyone you know from your hairdresser to your accountant. Be prepared to invite them along as your guest (check your group specifics!)

Meetings – After attending the event, follow up with people you wish to connect with or those who asked to meet with you and arrange one to one meetings.  Ensure that the meeting is not one way traffic. Law of physics- every action has a reaction – therefore for every question they ask you, there should be reply and  a follow up. Be willing to open up about challenges, opportunities and where you’re heading – this will help others understand what type of referral will be of value to you.

Connect – Use your skills as cumulative set to connect others and build connections for yourself.

Remember every new connection you make is an asset to your business and to your network. Be a connector, get connected and start building your business with Avanti Networking. Contact Sharon Baker  to see how Avanti can help move you and your business forward.

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