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Networking in Business
Networking Tips for Business and Career Success
Networking has always been an important process in the business world, allowing people from the same industry to meet and exchange ideas. Networking also helps business leaders talk to potential customers and educate prospects about the solutions the business could offer to them.
Being a business leader is hard work, and then there is always the stress of keeping the various aspects of a business moving in a positive direction.
Having the right people to turn to in times of need is always an important consideration for business owners and managers.
Networking has always been an important process in the business world, allowing people from the same industry to meet and exchange ideas.
Networking also helps business leaders talk to potential customers and educate prospects about the solutions the business could offer to them.
Making a connection with people who can improve your career can also deliver to the individual an opportunity to expand their horizons and move up in the business world.
Having someone to turn to in the event of a problem can be a very useful resource. Knowing people in your industry can provide you with valuable opportunities to reach new markets and perhaps even support the growth of your business by offering outsourced services to your competitors.
Meeting a parts manufacturer at a business networking function may not be an obvious benefit at first, but those individuals could be a valuable resource if you need to find a new supplier on short notice.
Joint ventures in a sales situation is also a powerful option that many companies take advantage of, and most of those joint venture opportunities begin at a meeting of the minds in a business networking event.
Many business leaders even use networking to meet new clients or get to know their older ones better.
Building strong, mutually beneficial relationships is the primary focus of business networking.
Numerous events take place every week that make networking easy in most locations. Talking to a number of associations or networking organisations that operate around country can direct you to the important events in your industry. Even your suppliers or the local Chamber of Commerce may be able to point you to a networking event that you can use to your own benefit.
Local meetings are generally held every other week or monthly, depending on the goals its members.
The right networking group is one that fits the interests of all of the people involved in the organisation. Events are generally targeted at specific industries, career fields, localities, or consumer groups.
Networking organisations that are not selective in their membership can be nice for a business owner who is just getting started with their business. However, some of these organisations are focused less on bringing together a group of people interested in exchanging ideas and more on just bringing people together.
Meeting people is always nice, but networking is not about just meeting someone new. Proper networking is centred on increasing the number of relationships a person has with others and improving relationships with similarly minded people. Proper networking is not about making friends, although that is a positive addition to many of these events.
Trade Shows are a great way to find new products and business connections. There are hundreds of trade shows annually among the various industries and consumer groups. Finding one to suit any industry is easy to do and can provide a huge amount of resources to the business owner or manager on the hunt.
Trade shows can include many businesses from varying specialities, but still in the same field. Home and garden shows typically include trade show display booths and demonstrations from a multitude of different service providers, such as home developers, home improvement companies, home appliance companies, and furniture sales companies. The sector is so vast that it wouldn't be uncommon to spot seed distributors set up next to hot tub salesmen.
The goal of business networking is not to meet new people to socialise, but to meet people who could be beneficial to a businessperson and people that might require services. Basic social skills always apply, but there are special aspects to networking that should always be considered.
Before arriving at a networking event, it is best to outline a plan of attack. Have a pre-made list of all of the people that you would want to meet. Knowing who to meet and how many others require introductions can prevent cold feet at the actual event.
Going with someone with a similar goal can insure both parties fill their networking requirement.
Upon arrival at a business networking group, most people tend to gravitate towards someone they already know. This serves more as crutch than an opportunity. People do not generally approach others already in conversation, and this can lead to many missed opportunities to meet people important to your goals.
A great way to meet new people is to engage anyone standing alone. Be genuinely curious in who they are and what they do. Authenticity is very important in networking, because no one appreciates insincerity.
Ignoring established relationships can be more detrimental, than avoiding networking events altogether. Budding relationships can be very important if they are properly nourished. If ignored they can wither and die.
Most conversations begin to lag after a time. This is the perfect opportunity to move on. Having someone picked out to move to can provide the ideal excuse. "Please excuse me, I'd like to introduce myself to that gentleman who is standing alone."
Networking is important in any field. Taking advantage of opportunities to improve your business contacts is an asset few in business can afford to miss. Being excited to be there and to meet new people can make an event enjoyable and will encourage others to want to get to know you as well.
Networking events and organisations are great ways to meet very helpful people who may be potentially beneficial to your goals. A good network can be the saving grace of a company or career, so make sure you take the time to get to know all of the great people who may be able to help you achieve common goals.
The following article was contributed by Rose Bevington
Rose Bevington worked for the Chamber Of Commerce & helped with their trade show presentations, before becoming a professional writer. Impact Trade Show Displays has 20 years’ experience, with professional custom graphics development and large-format print production staff available to help you. They develop state-of-the-art pop up displays, fabric displays, panel displays, truss systems and more for their trade show and storefront clients around the world.
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