Networking is one of the most important parts of being an entrepreneur. You need to know how to approach new people, give them information about your business in a nutshell and make connections that are mutually beneficial. The only problem is that most people find networking really difficult.
So what is the solution?
Well, you’re going to have to learn how to network one way or another so a few tips to make it easier should help. Having a few simple tactics up your sleeve will ensure that you – and your employees – have everything you need to make great connections.
How to Talk to Strangers
Talking to strangers is an odd feeling when you aren’t used to it but most people will respond positively if you approach them kindly. The simplest way to introduce yourself to a new person? Ask them how they are. We all like to talk about ourselves and this question is all you need to engage in conversation.
When you start talking about your business, try not to slip into a sales pitch – this isn’t the time. Instead, you should try explaining your business in terms of problem and solution. So, your clients approach you with a problem and you provide this solution. This is a much easier way to start talking about the benefits of your business without being pushy.
How to Help Your Employees Network
If you really want to achieve growth then employee advocacy for your business is paramount. Encouraging your employees to talk positively about your company and go to networking events of their own is a great way to maximize your contact list and continue to make new business friends.
Many people are shy when it comes to meeting others and explaining their business and role. To help these employees, you might like to run a sort of practice session so that they can run through their networking skills and gain a little confidence before they go out. There are all kinds of useful tips for networking that might come in handy for beginners and veterans alike.
Making Friends Not Deals
Though it is tempting to market your business at every opportunity, most of the time, it is actually better to focus on making a new friend. Some people have a simple strategy for this which they call personal branding. In essence, this idea comes down to developing your business persona in the same way you would develop a brand. Take this with a pinch of salt, though, as you don’t want to seem inauthentic.
For the most part, the best advice in networking is to listen as much as you talk. You never know when you might meet someone who can help you as much as you can help them and finding mutual benefit is always the best way to make a friend. You should also consider the benefits of making friends with someone who has a large network. Allowing yourself to be introduced to others is always a good idea, no matter who it is.