Are you building business relations with other people?
If you own a business, have a freelance career, or own an active company, it’s crucial that you build relationships with other business owners.
I’ve learnt that building relationships with other business owners is one sure way to success, as it’s ‘not what you know, it’s who you know’.
Networking is a great activity to do for your business, as it allows you to build relationships, get your business in front of other people, and hopefully get more work for yourself!
You’ve talked to a few people, gained an insight into their small businesses, and have gathered business cards.
There’s lots of articles about networking, but what do you do once you come back from a networking event, and how can you use this time to create an ever lasting impact with the people that you’ve met?
How do you turn these business connections into something which is longer lasting and beneficial to you and your business?
The period after any networking event is crucial, as you can effectively use this time to make deeper connections.
In this blog post, I’m going to be sharing some fantastic tips and tricks to help you after any networking event.
Arrange 1 to 1 Meetings
Networking with other business owners and entrepreneurs is a fantastic way to build relations and gather more work for yourself, but one fundamental way to build even more work for yourself, is with 1 to 1’s.
But what do I mean by 1 to 1’s, and how can this benefit your business?
A 1 to 1 is arranged after a networking event, when you decide to meet with someone and talk about your businesses to one an other, share your business story, which is usually face to face.
This is set up via email or social media, which is usually over a coffee, tea or beverage of your choice.
It’s like meeting up with on of your friends, and talking to one another.
The negative part about networking is that most people are trying to work the room, however, 1 to 1’s eliminate this, as you’re the only person they can talk to!
They allow you to really focus on each other businesses, and not get distracted by the networking room.
You can discuss future projects together, talk about your interests and hobbies, discuss your business, give referrals to each other, and have the potential of more work for yourself.
I’ve discovered the fantastic benefit of 1 to 1’s, which is a great way to propel your business in the right way, and build better relations with other business owners.
But how do you set one up after a networking event?
After your networking event, it’s important that you firstly keep the conversation going on email, social media or Skype.
Keeping The Connection Going Via Email
As you start to build relations with other people at your networking events, it’s crucial that you keep the connection going.
Make sure you look at the business cards that you’ve gathered, take a look at their product / service, follow them on social media, and consider sending them an email.
This should be a friendly and warm email, telling them how good to was to meet, and that they should do it again soon.
This improves trust between the two of you, which is essential in business.
The other person can then see that you’ve actually taken the time to look at what they can offer, and haven’t just discarded their business cards.
One great thing that I love to do is to email certain people after events, as it keeps the relationship going.
From this, I can possibly arrange a 1 to 1 meeting, and build on the relationships with others
A popular meeting location is either a coffee shop, restaurant, or even your own home (if you know the other person well).
You will need to pick a location where you can talk easily, which is appropriate.
I always suggest that you arrange a location where you know, so you have the knowledge that it will be the correct location for your 1 to 1.
Don’t Do The Hard Sell!
We all realise that networking is the place to gain more work for yourself, gain more business relationships, and hopefully receive a few referrals.
However, there’s always one or two people who seem to just take, take take. They don’t offer referrals, aren’t interested in any one else’s business but their own, and aren’t seen as trustworthy.
Even though selling is an essential part of any business, don’t let this become a part of you whilst you network, as you’ll come across as the wrong sort of person.
Don’t do these things during or after a networking event;
- Send a promotional email to the people that you straight away, as these people will come back to their inboxes, and be encountered with this!
- Put pressure on particular individuals to buy your product or service
- Only talk about your business, with no interest in the other people in the room
Even though these sorts of people think their doing the right thing, by gaining the most referrals and business this way, this is actually counter-intuitive for them.
Other people can see straight through them.
This method may work for a limited time, but as soon as others cotton onto this fact, they won’t receive work again.
Interact On Social Media
It’s crucial that you connect with the people that you met on social media.
This allows them to see who you are outside of the networking ‘space’, and gives them a further indiction of your brand and business.
They can see your authority, your brand, and if they can trust you further.
This is also a great way to build a following for your business.
But if you already have a good following, then these people will automatically be impressed by your social media marketing and social media strategy, and be more enticed why your business as a whole.
From here, you can then interact with them on social media, and promote their business every now and again.
Follow these handy tips that’ll be really appreciated;
- Actively go on these platforms and seek out these people, and follow them. From this, say hello, and make a connection this way
- If you like what they’re sharing with their audience, make sure you Re-Tweet or share one of their posts, which is always highly appreciated
- Make sure you connect on LinkedIn, which showcases your professional profile and business
Follow These Tips To Create Epic Connections
Networking is one sure way to get your business in front of others, and form connections with like minded people.
It’s a great activity to do on a consistent basis, which has become an integral part of my business.
But sometimes, this can only go so far, if you’re not prepared to put that effort in to connect with these people on another level.
Email, social media, and 1 to 1’s have made it easy for us to connect with just about anyone, so don’t let this slip you past, and make stronger and more effective connections today!
How have you maximised your relationships with other people?
Have I missed any tips which you could share?
Comments are more than welcome.
Summary Of Points
- Arrange 1 to 1 meetups with the people that you met whilst networking, as this is a fantastic way to really learn about other business owners, their interests, and discover their personality a bit more
- Follow individuals on social media, email them after the networking events, and keep the conversation and connection going
- DON’T bombard these people with your own product or service straight away after coming back from a networking event, as it will communicate a take, take, take attitude
- Make sure you follow the people that you meet on social media, Re-Tweet or share their posts, so you can connect on a completely different level
- Networking can only go so far, so make sure you put that extra effort in to connect with those around you, to receive more work and commissions for yourself
Many thanks for listening to me today, be sure to comment below if you have any questions that you would like to ask me on this topic, I’ll love to hear from you. You can also check out me on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Thanks again, and have a great day!