Networking – what is it exactly?
Some people think it’s just an opportunity for a natter and a hot meal – especially people who work on their own. This, for sure, is one of the reasons why I network. Since becoming self employed I miss the noise and bustle of a busy office and I’ve met some fantastic people through networking, who have become friends as well as business contacts.
The Business Dictionary gives this excellent definition of networking: “Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. Networking is based on the question ‘How can I help?’ and not ‘What can I get?’.
It is easy to spend a small fortune on networking and hard to evaluate the ROI for your business, so it’s important to get the most out of every meeting you attend.
Following these Top Tips can help you get the most out of your networking.
5. Listen and be interested
Nobody wants to be talked at (see Tip 6). The conversations you have should be two-way. Although you are probably eager to tell everyone how fantastic your business is, those you are speaking with will think you are amazing if you show an interest in their business and ask pertinent questions about what they do before talking about yourself.
When I host a networking table I always make sure I ask everyone on my table something about their business. This shows I have listened to what they have to say, I am interested in what they have to offer and I have engaged with them. This often leads to positive feedback from attendees, and I have been recommended on many an occasion because of it.
I hope you have found this useful. If there is something you have found particularly helpful when networking, I would love to hear from you.
I organise a number of networking events and send regular updates of upcoming events to my mailing list. If you would like to be added to the mailing list please email me at Judith.firstname.lastname@example.org
To see the full list of events available please go to www.jaykayevents.co.uk/upcoming-events
To book a place at any of the events please fill in your details plus the event name and date on my contact page.