Boss Lady

5 tips to boost your networking results


The statistics are very clear… A New York Times survey indicates 65% of new business comes from referrals. A Nielsen study shows 92% of people trust referrals from people they know. Putting those two together means one simple thing if you want to grow your business – get known by more people!

The simplest way to meet more people is to attend networking events. LinkedIn and Facebook are wonderful for mass appeal but do little to develop the trust required before a referral is passed. Whereas attending networking events will put you face to face with other business owners and consumers who are also there to meet people.

So, what are the 5 basics of networking?

1. Turn up first and leave last

Let’s face it – you can’t work the room if you’re not in it! Networking is a form of marketing and marketing takes time. So give yourself more time by being where the action is longer.

2. Arrive in the right frame of mind

Networking is simply helping people. Nothing more, nothing less. Get yourself in the mood to be helpful and you’ll network like a pro. If you’re talking to an accountant who expresses the desire to meet more builders then think of all the builders you know and consider if you’d be happy to make an introduction. Additionally, think of all the plumbers, electricians, plasterers and roofers you know. These people also interact with builders frequently and may be willing to pass on a name and contact details. By being helpful, you are building up the store of goodwill the cosmos will ensure comes back to you.

3. Bring plenty of business cards

These are the physical reminders people will have of you so make them say what needs to be said and make sure they are on hand at all times. There is nothing more embarrassing than receiving someone else’s card and not having one to return. It demonstrates poor planning and a lack of interest. Will that make you referrable in their eyes? On every card you’re given, write down the date and where you met. Store these alphabetically under professions and next time you need a bookkeeper go to B and you’ll be reminded that you and Mary had a lovely chat on March 27 at the Sunset Club. That way it’s not a cold call. 

4. Bring a friend/client

Selling yourself is hard. So get someone else to do it for you! Your best client will be a walking, talking testimonial for you. So get them in the room! In return, boost their stocks by looking for opportunities on their behalf. This tandem approach is very effective and stops both of you looking like me, me, me people.

5. Follow up

This is often regarded as the single most important habit of expert networkers. Why? Because it demonstrates to the person who is followed up that they matter beyond a single meeting. The purpose of the follow up is to organise another meeting where you can each learn more about the other’s business. This knowledge then forms the basis of future referral opportunities. Isn’t that why you went to the networking event in the first place?

Referrals are the lifeblood of profitable businesses. Putting yourself in a position to give and receive them just makes good business sense. Yes, you need to give them too! This builds your store of goodwill and that keeps other people looking out for your best interests.

So get out there and start helping others. It’ll come back in spades.

If you like this and would like more information, get our e-book : The Heel to Toe of Networking by Business in Heels.

5 tips to boost your networking results


About Lisa Sweeney

Lisa Sweeney is an inspired networking professional building a business, Business in Heels, to support entrepreneurial women world-wide with resources opportunity and choice. I negotiate win-win deals for businesses looking to further their reach through our face to face events and social networks. We aim to help woman in business be successful on a global stage with equality.

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