Connections are a key resource and worth every bit of time it takes to create them. If you are a business owner running a small business or working your business from home, you should know how important networking can be. The more you interact with others, whether it be online or in-person, you’ll realize just how valuable it can be to have strong networking skills. It can be daunting at first, but with practice, you’ll be comfortably and confidently networking with much greater ease. Here are 4 ways to improve your networking skills and strengthen your business connections, no matter the style of networking you use.
4 Ways to Improve Your Networking Skills
Strong networking is a positive exchange, of sorts. You can provide value by helping them get distribution through awareness, whether that be an email list, podcast, shoutout or article – or you could offer them knowledge or expertise in an area where they are lacking. Both sides should come away from the experience with something to generate future interactions and develop a lasting connection. Networking
Make It About Them
Take the time to learn a bit about what resonates with the other person and make it all about him or her. How you or your services and products relate to them is unique and worth discovering. Try to find out what they like that is in a way related to your business and connect them to that – after all, everyone’s different and building a solid connection is a people-first endeavor. You’ll likely find that getting to know other perspectives can balance what you know, and give more depth to your work.
Be An Active Listener
The more we listen, the more we learn. By listening, we can provide ideas, tips or advice that could help their business in some way and create a long-lasting relationship. Actively listening means that rather than merely wait for a chance to dive in with our information; we’re genuinely interested in their viewpoint and developing an understanding of it.
What happens next after a positive networking experience is really important: follow-up. It could be monthly, quarterly; whatever makes the most sense for you. Keep it consistent. Much like watering a plant so it can thrive, following up is crucial to growing new relationships. Something as simple as meeting for a coffee can be really effective at maintaining the connection. Whichever way you do it, keeping the connection warm with regular follow-ups solidifies the relationship and reminds the other person that they’re valued.
The idea of actively networking can seem a bit nerve-wracking at first, but once you get practice, you can hone those skills and productively network with more confidence and ease.
It’s a win/win – the more you put yourself out there in the world, the more the world will get to know you and your business. The more the world gets to know you, the more business you will get. If you want to learn more about the importance of online and in-person networking and network marketing business opportunities, talk to Alan from AdvancingWithUs and don’t be afraid to get social.