Business networking. For some it feels like a must, while others feel like a fish in water at a network meeting. In this article we give you the best tips to get more out of your business network.
New business, new partners, more turnover, you have probably already thought about what you want to achieve with networking. However, it can be difficult to get the results you had in mind from your network right away. Do not worry, these things take time! In the meantime, you can practice with these tips for better business networking.
1. Prepare a short pitch
This is a real pick-me-up. You will the question, “Well, what do you actually”. Make sure you have a short story in your head. You do not have to be able to recite it, but you will make a pretty bad impression if you can not get your words across when asked a question like this. It may sound simple but believe us, the more often you do this, the better (and more confident) you will come across. Practice makes perfect!
2. It ‘s not just about you
Business networking is about give and take. You have two ears and one mouth, which means it is also important to listen. If you are constantly talking (to present your new pitch for example) you are not listening. When you talk you are basically just repeating what you already know, whereas by listening you can learn something new.
In addition, of course, everyone wants to tell something about themselves. People do not like to have a second conversation with you if you do not seem interested in what they do.
3. Link afterwards
You have (briefly) told your story, listened carefully to your last interlocutor and you go home with a satisfied feeling. Oops. You forgot to ask for his or her contact information. That is not helpful, of course. Linking up with people afterwards is actually a must when networking. This way people also stay in your network and you do not have to do that introduction round all the time.
By talking to the same people more often you get to know them better. This way you know better what you can do with them or what they need to realize their growth.
Do you run a network organization and do you want to make it easier for your members to continue their conversation online? With our community-app you can easily let people link 1-on-1 and continue the discussion after your networking event has ended.
4. Make sure you have a variety of contacts.
You can learn from everyone. Notice that your conversation partner is not in the same business as you? Do not give up on the conversation too quickly! By talking to people with different experiences you can learn something you had never thought about before. In addition, these people can come up with surprising angles.
Another reason not to linger too long. When you speak to someone for the first time you can not expect too much. Not everyone wants to become your customer right away, or has a great idea that will turn your business upside down. A successful conversation only lasts 5 minutes on average. Make sure you have a good first meeting, exchange contact information and find the next person.
Networking events are just too big to talk to the same person all day. In addition, it quickly feels uncomfortable when you have nothing more to say to each other. It is better to say goodbye in an enthusiastic way and leave a good impression, than to keep the conversation going unnecessarily while there is nothing more to be gained. It may sound stupid, but it is realistic.
6. Set goals
It is very difficult to write down exactly what you want to get out of your network. That is because you can not always predict in advance what people you will have, or what your connection will lead to. Especially if you are just starting out in networking.
Still, you can set goals for expanding your network. Decide with yourself how many new people you are going to talk to and which people you want to talk to. Often you know in advance (or after the first time) who will be at your networking event. By setting goals here you get the most out of your network and keep challenging yourself.
7. Take a look through the guest list
Another way to set goals is to think about who you want to talk to in advance. Many networking events have a guest list that you can look at. Scan through this guest list. See which people are interesting to your career or business and find these people at the event. Of course, you can also send a connection request on LinkedIn in advance with a request to talk during this event.
8. Close strongly
People remember mainly the beginning and the end of a conversation. This means that you should make a good first impression and close strongly. This is also one of the reasons why your conversation should last no longer than 5 minutes. After all, a lot gets lost in the ‘middle’. You can end your conversation strongly by thanking your conversation partner for the time and concluding with a firm handshake. Also do not forget to link!
9. You can network online (but don ‘t forget face-to-face either)
Networking does not always have to be done at an agreed time and place. Because technology keeps evolving (and we just had a pandemic), networking will increasingly take place online. We can only applaud that! Bundeling’s communication platform is perfect for continuing the conversation online.
But that does not mean you can just do everything from your screen. It is very worthwhile to go to physical meetings. You learn a lot and it is good to step out of your comfort zone. Make sure you leave your phone behind during a physical networking event. It may be tempting to sit in a corner staring at your screen, but it would not do you any good.
Better business networking with Bundeling
inkedIn and Whatsapp are certainly not your only options for continuing the conversation (online). With a communication platform from Bundeling you ensure that your business network organization or business club is bundled together in one go. Your organization can also benefit from this. With a customized app for your business club you ensure more activity in your network.
Want to know how to get more out of your business network with a communication platform from Bundeling? We wrote an article about this before!
This means that communication flows more quickly and easily. Members of your business club stay in direct contact with each other and are able to get more value out of their network. Do you not want that for your network as well? Request a free demo and be amazed at the possibilities!
Bundeling makes custom communication apps for all kinds of companies. From large national and international football clubs to logistics companies, business clubs and SMEs. With an app from Bundeling, your organization will be better connected, no matter what. Make use of features such as:
- Personalized profiles
- 1-on-1 conversations
- A calendar of events
- E-tickets for events
- A bulletin board
- Group chats