Get the most out of networking

Building relationships with businesses that are complementary to your own means they can pass customers your way and vice versa. SmallBusiness.co.uk offers some tips on getting the most out of networking opportunities and events.


Building relationships with businesses that are complementary to your own means they can pass customers your way and vice versa. SmallBusiness.co.uk offers some tips on getting the most out of networking opportunities and events.

Building relationships with businesses that are complementary to your own means they can pass customers your way and vice versa. SmallBusiness.co.uk offers some tips on getting the most out of networking opportunities and events.

Firstly, networking generally fails when you haven’t thought about what you want to achieve. Reasons for networking are varied but include: meeting suppliers, advisers, investors or customers; testing business ideas and getting feedback on issues from entrepreneurial peers.

Different groups and networks will address different issues and if you have a clear motive for attending you are more likely to get the most out of the event.

People like doing business in person, but the worst thing you can do is be too heavy-handed in trying to sell yourself. If people like you, they will introduce you to people they know that could be of interest. You just have to be open enough to recognise opportunities when they arise.

You may not get it right straight away but it’s a learning process. Once refined, any successful entrepreneur will say the network they’ve developed is a pivotal part of their success.

Here are some tips:

Don’t be afraid – You must get over your initial shyness, approach people and introduce yourself. Everyone is there for the same reason, so there is no reason to be timid.

Know your plus points – It’s a good idea to write an elevator speech before you go, so when people ask you what you do, your reply is succinct, accurate and intriguing. An elevator pitch should break the ice and start the conversation flowing.

Sound interesting
– Make what you do sound beneficial to the person you meet. Would you want to talk to someone who says ‘I’m an accountant’ or someone who introduces themselves with the line ‘I help companies save money on tax’? Same person – different approach.

Get in touch
– Set a target of a few good leads to follow up on the next day with a phone call or an email. If you say you will contact someone, make sure you do it sooner rather than later.

Don’t drink too much
– Often networking events will have alcohol on offer. Even if you are nervous, try not to drink too much to calm your nerves. Remember that you are trying to give a good impression of your business.

Related Topics

Leave a comment