My business Ideas in Partnership which started in 2002 is all about helping businesses of all sizes with strategic marketing and business development. We also offer a comprehensive and inclusive business service which specialises in events, mentoring, market research and networking.
The reason we are taking a stand at the Ultimate Business Show is to share this experience with others and to network with other stand holders and delegates who attend the event. In a time when the importance of social media should not be underestimated, it is also important for businesses to see this is a business tool which in no way will take away from building client relationships, the latter which can only be done when face to face contact is made.
It is really important for businesses to understand networking, as many get it wrong and they do so on two counts:
- Some don’t do it because they feel uncomfortable.
- Some try too hard and spend the whole time selling.
If we take the first point, some people don’t do networking because they are shy, afraid, embarrassed, or hate selling. They need to really question why they are in business, as business is all about selling. It is not just about selling a product or service, but, more important, it is about selling themselves. People are social and do business with those they like, so among a group there will be others feeling exactly the same way.
How to get the most out of networking:
- Pick your networking groups carefully (demographics).
- Look at who attends (sample them before joining).
- Are you meeting new people on a regular basis?
- Don’t sell, just have a conversation.
- It should be a two-way process. What can you help others with? It does not necessarily have
- to relate directly to your business.
- Write information on their business cards, so that you can remember later what it was that interested you about them.
- Follow through: if you say you will do something, do it.
- Evaluate your success or lack of it.
- Move out of your immediate business location and try other cities.
And remember, networking means gaining information and ultimately clients. Enjoy it and if you really don’t want to do it, find someone in your organisation who does.
My team and I look forward to seeing you on Stand 37 at the Ultimate Business Show.