In entrepreneurship, networking and connections are as good as you can get them.
It seems like everything in business appears to revolve around numbers. Gain new followers, expand your following, and increase your traffic. After all, the more customers we have, the more revenue we have, right? Well, not necessarily. This is only true in some cases, such as networking and building relationships with business partners.
Focusing only on numbers when it comes to networking won’t lead to success. Although 5,000 LinkedIn connections is a pretty round figure, can these connections actually help you increase B2B leads, grow your company, or expand your market?
The answer is always quality over quantity. This applies to everything you do for your business, including marketing techniques. What good is having a high site traffic if no one buys from you?
Here are a few tips to help you gain genuine and real connections;
- Get Involved.
Simply being in the right place at the right time is enough to make a business connection. Place yourself in settings where your preferred connections convene to discover valuable networking possibilities.
Join some professional groups that cater to people who share your personal or professional interests. Sharing personal interests can help spark connections that lead to business ties. Speak at local networking events for free and offer your knowledge. The more you put yourself out there, the sooner you will establish a network of long-term connections.
- Provide Value to Others as Well.
It can be difficult to remember to offer value first while building business relationships, especially when your company is growing, because, understandably, you still need assistance, connections, and expertise to help you achieve your objectives.
Avoid marketing or pressuring the connection; instead, get to know them first. Be sincere and seek opportunities to improve their lives and businesses. By doing this, you’ll stand out from the multitudes of others who are unaware that investing in others first and having the correct mindset always pays off.
- Know What You Want
Determine what you want from these connections. Your professional contacts will want to help you, particularly if you are helpful to them. Would you know what to ask?
You should thoroughly grasp your objectives in order to know who to engage, what help to request, and how to get it.
- Reach Out on LinkedIn.
Social media is your ally when it comes to networking. LinkedIn is a particularly useful tool for reaching out to connections made at networking events or through peers.
Send them a quick message, explaining why you’re contacting them and how you know them. After all, communication is essential for building and maintaining relationships.
- Always Keep an Open Mind.
Keep an open mind to meeting people of all calibre who operate in diverse industries. Do not simply destroy bridges because you believe they are no longer relevant in your industry.
It’s also important to give every conversation a chance, even if it’s not immediately obvious how the relationship will benefit you. Approach a networking opportunity with goals and objectives in mind, but don’t be so focused that you skip out on a great opportunity.
Don’t take over a conversation. You will frequently find yourself standing alongside two or three other people during an in-person event. Allow them to express themselves. Tell them that you find what they are saying interesting. If the conversation is engaging, ask them to give more details.
- Many in-person events are free to attend; simply attend the ones that are convenient and very relevant to you.
- Prepare a few appropriate questions to ask people and avoid conversations about politics, the weather, or anything culturally controversial.
- It is not necessary to converse with everyone in attendance. Plan for yourself. If you think three decent conversations with three different people is a good target, go with that.
- If you meet someone interesting, then follow up, ask them if you can call them a week later or drop them an email? Very few people will refuse such a request.
Building professional relationships can be challenging, especially if you don’t have an “insider.” You want to expand your network and meet as many individuals as possible, but what if 75% of your connections are only surface level? Do they offer any considerable value to you?