They say it’s about who you know, rather than what you know and that’s perhaps why networking is of such utmost importance. Whether you are trying to attract contracts for you small business or advance your career, knowing “the right people” certainly seems to help.
Perhaps, business is as much about people and relationships as it is about money and profits. After all, humans are social creatures and we like to collaborate with those we know, value and trust.
The Benefits of Smart Networking
We are constantly bombarded with advertisements and so are our bosses or potential clients. We network to make a personal connection that will rise to the top and turn into a mutually beneficial business relationship. Let’s take a look at some of the networking benefits:
- Building lasting business relationships with important players
- Standing out from the crowd
- Displaying your talents
- Finding new clients or career opportunities
- Increasing your visibility and raising your profile in the business community
- Facilitating mutually beneficial relationships
- Making important contacts
The importance of networking for any professional with an ambition to succeed cannot be overstated. But where do you actually do your networking?
If you are serious about networking, you need to look beyond conferences, VIP dinners, and designated business networking events and view just about any encounter as a networking opportunity. If you bump into a potential client or influential business acquaintance in an airport lounge, strike up a conversation, or do so at the supermarket or in the park – discretely of course.
Sporting events also provide ample networking opportunities and if you are heading to Cheltenham next week, you might come away with some important contacts if you play your cards right. Make sure you are well up on all the racing action by checking out www.cheltenhamday.co.uk. You will have plenty of stuff to talk about and really strike up great business relationships.
The Art of Smart Networking
Obviously, you need to gather all your intelligence and put some thought into how you are going to present yourself in the course of your networking efforts. There are a few basic tips you may wish to take on board:
- Make a Good First Impression: Be calm and confident, dress appropriately and speak with intelligence and warmth. Strike a good balance between listening and speaking, do both in equal measure.
- Be Aware and Up-to-Date: When it comes to conversation topics, make sure to have solid knowledge on the subject in question. Don’t be afraid to stray at times, after all you are just building a relationship and not striking a deal.
Follow Up: If you manage to make new contacts, be sure to follow up and reap the rewards of your networking efforts.
Ultimately, it’s about getting to know people and showing them your talents while also expressing appreciation for your counterpart’s work. Mutual respect may certainly lead to mutually beneficial business relationships.