We got together with John Harvey from 3B International this month to hear his 5 top tips on the best way to network.
1. What is networking and why it is important to every business
Networking is about building meaningful relationships in order to advance your business or career. It is important to connect with different people to build a good networking circle. People network to improve their profile (to be found), to generate opportunities, to assist in extending and strengthening the community around them and to find answers and tools. It is an extremely cost effective and powerful way of growing your business, allowing you to demonstrate that you possess the key qualities that make it easy for people to buy from you; being an expert in your field, having integrity and your likeability. It also allows you to establish relationships with service providers that you will need for example banks, legal, accounts and logistics.
2. Where to network
Networking can be both face to face and virtual, successful networkers do both. Social media is networking and is continuing to increase in popularity. Although it is important to keep up with current trends, it is equally important to choose the most appropriate platform for your business (for example Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest).
3. The best way to network
To network in the most efficient way you need to share your knowledge, your contacts and your compassion. It is important to develop a strong personal brand and to have an effective elevator pitch that is practiced regularly. Finally, prepare before events and follow up within twenty four hours. Always be polite, friendly and say thank you.
4. When to network
Networking should be an important feature of your business plan, aim to network all the time! Always be open for opportunities to make new connections.
5. Suggested reading
Business Networking – Heather Townsend
Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends – Tim Sanders
Return on Relationships – Ted Rubin
The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick – Andy Bounds
How to Twitter for Business Success – Nicky Kriel
To find out more about getting the most from your networking, Leading Women will be running a session with John Harvey on 1st May at The Business Space, Plymouth. Book here to guarantee your space:http://goo.gl/761A6m