Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
10 Tips to Successfully Use Business Networking as a Marketing Strategy > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

10 Tips to Successfully Use Business Networking as a Marketing Strategy

Networking is probably the best way to build a profitable business, or sales pipeline over the long term. Many of us understand the value of networking, but we don't always know the best way to go about it. Here are 10 simple tips that will help you maximize the effectiveness of your networking efforts.

1. Build Relationships not Stacks of Business Cards

Networking is not a contest to see who can collect the most business cards. It's about building great relationships. Walking around an event forcing your business cards on other people is not going to help you to build any of those relationships. Spend your time at a networking event really getting to know the people you're talking to.

2. Think Quality not Quantity

The next time you find yourself at a big business after hours try to get to know a small number of people. The number isn't important, it may be 3, 5 of 10 depending on the length of the event. It might even be 1 or 2. What's important is focusing on a few people as you begin a quality relationship. You'll be remembered for having spent the time to get to know them.

3. Listen!

When you're spending time with people make sure you're listening. Don't let yourself get distracted or watch for the next person you'd like to meet. Pay attention to that 1 person in front of that you're talking with now. What you're listening for is unique information about them. You also want to pay attention for ways that you might be able to help them. This is your key to reconnecting with them again.

Listening also means you should be using your ears more and your mouth less. The best way to do this is by asking questions. By asking questions the times that you are talking will really be about them. Dig deeper into who they are, what drives them, what they're passionate about, what's important to them besides business.

4. Smile

You'll come across as a much nicer and more approachable person if you smile. It's a very simple tip and it works!

5. Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

Do not ever write anybody off! Even if you've spent some time listening to someone, and you don't think they're important to you be polite when you decide to move on. You never know who people really are or who they might become. I've heard too many stories of people who weren't in a position of power and someone was rude to them. Later when those people find themselves at the top they don't forget about those who had written them off. People have very long memories. Treat everyone with respect. Each person you meet is not just a job title. They're all people, and are all important.

6. Follow-up

This is probably the most important step of all. Even if you spent 30 or 40 minutes getting to know someone at a networking event they probably won't remember who you are 3 weeks later. You must follow-up! A phone call, an invitation to coffee or lunch, a handwritten note, even an e-mail. It doesn't really matter how, just that you do. When you do follow-up make it personal and about them. Sending a form letter and your brochure is not going to work. This is why a phone call or a hand written note is probably best. Make it all about them and you'll be remembered.

Following up is not something that you do once. This is something you need to do on a regular basis with every person in your network. Continue to solidify the relationships you've started building.

7. Give, Give, Give

Successful networkers know that giving is more important than receiving. The more people you help, the more you'll get in return. It's also the best excuse to follow-up with someone. If you've listened carefully to what they had to say you should have found a couple of ways that you can help them. It doesn't have to be something grandiose. It can be as simple as sharing a free resource that you've found online, or referring them to someone else in your network that can help them solve a minor problem.

The more you give the more you'll get, and the more you give the better you'll get at it. You'll see opportunities to help people all the time. That's when networking really gets fun!

8. Have Fun!

Don't take networking or yourself too seriously. Enjoy the time you spend getting to know people. You'll find networking to be a lot easier if you're having fun.

9. Do What You Say You're Going to Do!

All the networking in the world won't make a difference if you aren't a man or woman of your word. One of the great benefits of networking is that you'll get the inside scoop on a lot of things. This will be disastrous if you don't have total integrity in all that you do. Fortunately it works the opposite way as well. If you consistently make good on your promises people will remember that, and tell others. Word will spread about what you've done.

10. Commit

The hardest part about networking is being patient. It will work if you commit yourself to doing it consistently over a long period of time. You probably won't get results right away, but when they do start coming look out! As a marketing strategy networking is a long term undertaking. Look around at those that have been doing it for an extended period of time. 9 times out of 10 times they're successful. If you ask them if they'd do it again they'll all tell you yes!

11. Go the Extra Mile

Whenever you can, give people more than they expect. You'll soon be getting all the referrals you need, and great word of mouth will spread far and wide. Happy networking!

Scott Ingram is the founder of NetworkInAustin.com, a networking resource for networkers in Austin, Texas who use networking as a business development and marketing strategy. He also posts regularly to his blog: Business Networking in Austin. When he's not out building relationships at Chambers of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and numerous other business associations and networking groups Scott is busy spending time with his beautiful wife Emily. They are currently expecting their first child, a baby girl.

In The News:


The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make Managing Organisational Performance

mistake #1: rely just on financial statementsProfit and loss, revenue... Read More

Seven Ways to Get the Most Out of the Next Training You Attend

Sometime soon you will be attending some training. It may... Read More

Ten Tips on Delegating Work

One way to manage your time more effectively is to... Read More

How To Make $20.00 For Every $1.00 Invested

It has been said you can lift the Rock... Read More

Managing Your Major Sales - 7 Steps That Could Change The Way You Pursue Business

Ever lost a sale you thought was in the bag?... Read More

Your Leadership Shopping List

'Tis the season to give. And finding the right gift... Read More

The Top Ten Qualities that Allow Business Operations to Grow Easily

My husband and I were enjoying our dinner meal one... Read More

Seven Keys to Get Out of a Rut

Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way... Read More

Top 10 Ways to Start a Business For Less Than $500

We've heard numerous success stories of Internet entrepreneurs like Jeff... Read More

Private Practice Success: 10 Essentials for Starting a Practice

As a counselor, therapist or healing professional (massage therapist, physiotherapist,... Read More

Top Ten Ways to Manage Interruptions

So many people I worked with said they got more... Read More

No More Lists To Remember

Are the endless lists of Top-7's and Top-10's taxing your... Read More

The Seven Secrets of Top Performers

Let's put to rest the fallacy that success, in sales... Read More

7 Tips To Increase The Success Of Your Online Business

1. Outsource what takes you too long to doWhen you... Read More

Famous Business Strategies

Either simply a looker-on or a player in the world... Read More

Top Ten Ways to Develop New Success Habits

1. Make a clear, specific commitment to what you want.... Read More

Ten Reasons to Implement Choice Theory in Your Organization

What is Choice Theory (CT)? CT is a theory of... Read More

After Hurricane Katrina - Seven Things You Can Do

If you are like me, you are living some distance... Read More

Business Attire: 10 Tips to Perfect Your Look

Being appropriately dressed is essential in making good impressions in... Read More

7 Ways To Get One-way Links To Your Site

One way links will help you gain better rankings in... Read More

How to Hold An Extremely Successful Event - 10 Tips

Every event you hold can be extremely successful. Apply these... Read More

10 Ways to Develop A Free Agent Attitude

Whether you are self employed or you work for someone... Read More

11 Things Small Business Owners Can Learn From Star Wars

1. Great Things Take Time ? Three years passed between... Read More

How to Become an Expert in Your Niche Business

What is a niche business? A niche business is one... Read More

7 Keys to Running a Successful Business

Although dentistry may appear to be different than other types... Read More