This is a guest post by Ricky Petrson
Successful businesses have strong pillars made with a mixer of support, co-operation, will-power, challenges, motivation, team power and hard work. Business decisions doesn’t come to one single point unless there is good communication in the company, how much ever big or small your company, you got to have good networking tools which will stand the reason for good successful business in future.
There may be many an acquaintances in your business travels at conferences, business party, product launch party, etc. but that doesn’t serve the purpose of networking, a true networking success only comes by following some simplistic rules that are given below:
1 ) Make a point to fill the feelers while attending any events like conferences, meetings or get-togethers. In any events, you must have noticed people giving out their business cards to everyone present in the room. There are thousands of acquaintances which you might have come across while meeting people in conferences but you don’t really make any personal relationships with them or rather they making to you.
When you start networking with people, you are building some personal relationships with them that will help you in longer run. So, remember next time while attending a party or conferences you don’t need to go and excuse yourself for handing out that business card, following are some of the things you can do to build a successful business network.
- Look out for the people who are most popular in the group, these are basically the people who have made name for themselves by being the most talked about persons. You obviously want to get associated with such people to get more business contacts.
- After discovering the “it” crowd of the group, you want to communicate with them, but don’t create an obvious situation, wait out for some opportunity where you can start talking to them.
- Once you have already started having talks with the “it” crowd, this is the time when you can actually join the group, this won’t create an awkward situation for any one in the group as you are already in conversation with them.
- After some time, you realize you don’t have anything else to talk about, this is the time you want to get a person’s contact information; you can ask them casually about their contact number or ask for their business cards.
2 ) After getting the contact information of the people, start following them for further proceedings for business. Don’t forget to follow up someone after 24 hours of meeting them in person, if you forget to follow up there are chances that they might forget you so it is best to contact them to the earliest time possible. You can mail them or just send a quick SMS or leave a voicemail.
If you feel that you need to have some reason following them up, than you can talk to them regarding some business proposal from X party they might be interested in or arrange their meetings in person. If they are interested in your business proposal then they would surely reply you within the next 24 hours, for this I would like to discuss some etiquette rules, you should follow on your meet up:
- Try to pick up a meeting location which is convenient to both the parties, if you are the one who offered a business proposal, there is no reason why the other party would come and meet you so its best that you drive up to them.
- Reach the location well before the given time, don’t give stupid reasons like traffic or any personal family problems of being late and make a point to reach the meeting room on time that will give good impression to the other party. You are not going to loose anything by reaching the place early.
- Make the bill payment yourself without creating an awkward situation for any of the parties; don’t wait expecting other party to shell out money. If the other party offers to pay money, tell them that they can always pay next time. Don’t make a mistake of splitting the bill in to half; this is the worst thing you could do which will make it obvious that you don’t want to pay the bill.
3) Business relationships become much stronger when there are personal relationships involved; try to build a personal relationship with the client you are working with. Don’t make relations boring by just talking about business and money always; successful networking only happens when you know the correct cards to play for building personal relationships.
You can divert your topics from business communication to more general topics like family, sports, holidays, places, etc. make them interested in your talks not just business talks but over all general informative talks.
Pay close attention to the body language of your partners, know what makes them interesting and if you feel the topic is boring than kindly change the topic. Search for topics which are interesting to both the parties.
After your first meeting with them you will know them more as a person than just a friend or an acquaintance. This is the secret to successful networking, you will be more open to a friend than just a business colleague, try to give your best in first shot itself in whatever may be your endeavors with them.
If you are interested in further meetings with them, you will obviously like to have few more meetings with them to finalize the business deals. Remember, it takes time to develop a relationship whether a personal or a business relationship, don’t just expect your networking to go great guns in a matter of just few days or months, sometimes it even takes years to build that perfect bond to get business going.