When it comes to business communications, knowing how to network is essential.
The ability to network allows you to establish new connections within the business world, which in turn can help your business to grow. This is particularly important if you’ve just started a new business, as it helps to increase awareness of your business and allows your customer base to expand.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry: this guide will take you through the key elements of networking, with tips on how to maximize your business’ potential by successfully networking and communicating with other businesses.
Do Your Research
Before you start networking, take some time to find out about other businesses you might want to connect with. Think about what you’re looking for when making new contacts – do you want to learn how they made their business a success? Are you hoping to collaborate with them? It might be helpful to make a list of reasons you want to start networking before you begin.
If you’re interested in establishing communication with another business or business owner, find out as much as you can about them first. That way, you’ll have something to talk about as a starting point, which helps you to appear more confident and approachable.
Have A Good Communications System In Place
A big part of networking is reaching out to others, and to do this, you’ll need a reliable communications system. A unified communications system is fantastic for enhancing your communications, as it gives you a range of options for contacting people, such as voice and video calls, as well as instant messaging.
This is useful for networking because it means you can host formal discussions or have more casual chats – plus, as all your communication options are in one place, it makes it easier for the people you’re networking with to get in touch with you.
Use Your Time Wisely
When networking, it’s a good idea to set a limit on how many people you plan to get in touch with. You could write up a list of everyone you’d like to talk to and use it to work out who to prioritize contacting.
You can’t spend all your time networking, and trying to cultivate a business relationship with too many people at once makes it difficult to put any significant effort into communicating with anyone in particular – there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
You also need to consider their schedules, as the times when you’re available to talk might not be convenient for them. One way around this is to pick three potential contacts and really focus on networking with them.
Once you’ve established a good relationship, you can look again at the list you made and select more contacts with whom to expand your network.
Be Polite And Organised
When networking, make sure you reply to new contacts within a reasonable timeframe. This lets them know that you’re serious about building a business relationship with them and shows that you are a prompt, reliable communicator – in other words, it helps to ensure that they take you seriously.