How to get the most out of networking

Networking has become a hot topic in the past few years.  It is one of the best ways toconversations promote your business.  The whole spectrum of what networking is all about has changed.  It is not just about meeting people, it is also about creating business relationships and cultivating those relationships so that your external network can grow, resulting in greater visibility for your business.

Here are a few tips on how you take advantage of your next networking opportunity.

Be in the moment

You should be prepared to listen and make eye contact and keep your attention focused on who you are talking to and not on what is going on around you. In the business world, conversation can be a powerful tool if used right.  You really need to consider carefully what is being said during a conversation and how effectively you are communicating your thoughts and ideas.  It is then you can evaluate the return on conversation.

Prepare before you attend

Before you attend your next event sit down and formulate a plan.  Consider how you are going to network and what questions you are going to ask.  Make sure the questions will help to create a clear picture of the other person and their business so that you can make good decisions.

Have the right attitude

This is a time to be positive, proactive and professional.  You are being observed whether you realize it or not.  First impressions are important.

Follow up

If you say during the conversation that you are going to follow up then make sure you do. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity, and following up is as easy as sending an email or making a quick call.

Remember there is a strategy behind anything that is effective.  You will see that your business alliances will start to grow.  This will help you to surround yourself with the right people and you will be using your time effectively.

One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at halton.ca/smallbusiness, by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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