Telling the truth about SME life today

The Do’s & Don’ts Of Business Networking

business networking

Networking is a powerful tool for career development. 70% of professionals globally got their current jobs through networking. Online networking and in-person networking account for 16-40% of all new customer leads. 

Blow your competition out of the water by mastering business networking. Here are the do’s and don’ts of business networking to remember.

 

5 Do’s of Business Networking

Whether you are interacting with a potential client or associate online or in-person, it’s important that you observe the following tips to establish meaningful connections.

1. Be Genuinely Interested in Others

Don’t be the person who dominates the entire conversation by talking about your career or your business. Instead, give the other person a chance to talk by asking insightful questions. Actively listen to their responses and show genuine interest in their work and personal life.

People, especially new connections, are likely to communicate freely and open up to people who show genuine curiosity and care. Remember, the goal of networking is to build solid relations, not collect business cards.

2. Be A Good Listener

To master professional networking, you must work on your communication and listening skills. Being a good listener will build trust and demonstrate that you value what others say.

One sure way of doing this is by paying attention to verbal and non-verbal cues and asking insightful questions to clarify anything you don’t understand.

3. Be Authentic

Don’t try to be someone you’re not. New clients and business associates can spot a fake from a mile away. Relax and let your personality shine throughout the conversation. Be confident and straightforward about what you do and can offer. Authenticity is the key to building relationships that will last.

4. Be Proactive

The secret to getting ahead of the curve and connecting with more professionals is being proactive in your networking efforts. Opportunities won’t come your way automatically.

Adjust your schedule to attend networking events, join professional organizations in your industry, and connect with experts and customers online. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you’ll have to build valuable connections.

Start being proactive by creating a digital business card. It will help you share your contact details and business information seamlessly online and offline. You can share your details in seconds with just one tap or scan of your card QR code.  

5. Be Patient

Building strong relationships that translate sales or deals takes time and effort. Rarely will you land a new client or job overnight. Be patient, nurture relationships, and be consistent in your networking efforts. The rewards will make all the effort worthwhile in the end.

 

5 Don’ts of Business Networking

While knowing the do’s of business networking is crucial, avoiding the don’ts is just as important. Here are five common pitfalls you should avoid when networking to get value from the connections.

1. Don’t Be A Sales Pitch

Networking is not about selling yourself and the company. It’s about building relationships with other people and learning about what they do. Avoid bombarding people with your elevator pitch.

Talking solely about your career achievements and education accolades is bad for networking. Focus on having genuine conversations and mutual understanding.

2. Don’t Gossip or Complain

Nobody wants to be around someone negative. Negative conversations and thoughts will give the other person a negative perspective on your professionalism and personality.

Keep your interactions positive and uplifting. Your main focus should be building a good rapport and fostering positive connections.

3. Don’t Be Pushy or Entitled

Networking is about give and take. It’s not one-sided; it’s a mutual relationship where both parties benefit.Respect other people’s time and opinions about the subject matter. Don’t expect immediate results or favors. Instead, build trust and prove your credibility by offering help and support first.

4. Don’t Overindulge in Food and Drink

This may sound obvious, but surprisingly, most people fail at networking because they overindulge in food and drink. The attendees are observant and want to know the personality and mannerisms of the people they interact with.

While the food and drinks at the event may be free, it’s super important to maintain control and professionalism. Overindulging will create a negative impression and hinder your ability to make meaningful connections.

5. Forgetting to Follow-Up

Connecting with someone once is not enough. Don’t assume they will remember and contact you after the initial engagement. Following up by sending them messages, emails, or calls is crucial for building lasting relationships.

Send them a thank-you note, connect on social media, or schedule a follow-up meeting to stay in touch and nurture the relationship.

 

Conclusion

Professional business networking will supercharge your career and business to the next level. Avoid the highlighted do’s and don’ts to cultivate meaningful connections that will position you for success. Regularly audit your networking efforts to know which channels to focus more on and which ones to tweak to get more results. Good luck!

Trending

Related Stories

Most Read

Trending

If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!