Networking is a big part of business. It is important to understand that networking is about building relationships, it’s not about forcing others to listen to your sales pitches. This is very important to remember. Networking requires you to give something back. In order for business relationships to work, both parties need to benefit is some way or another.
There are two skills that are absolutely crucial to have networking success. They are listening and asking questions. If you are able to practice these skills, you will impress new contacts and clients more so than any business statistic. When you are a good listener, you are showing others that you value and respect them. Someone that talks too much can be described as being rude and dominating. When thoughtful and relevant questions are asked, it builds trust within the relationship because it shows that you actually have an opinion and interest in someone else’s thought.
To become a master at listening, there are a few action tips that you can practice and then implement. The first is to make sure to maintain eye contact. Make sure that you aren’t fidgeting and shifting your body weight too much. Avoid looking at your watch or phone at all times! These action items send the message that you are impatient, bored or not even interested. Make sure to nod your head in agreement to let the person talking know that they should keep going. Do not interrupt the conversation to try to make your point or talk about your experiences. Try repeating one key point the person made. By responding with a question about one of their topics lets the other party know you are interested and was paying attention. It also allows the conversation to keep rolling and helps you have some say in the direction it will go.
Another successful tip in networking is getting someone to talk about themselves and their accomplishments first. This can in turn help them get excited about you and your products. When someone feels good about themselves, it is easier for them to feel good about others. While having conversations, you should include information about yourself and your business, but try always ending with a question that is directed to the person, this will help them become excited about their answer and they will have feelings of excitement about their encounter with you.
Networking is becoming more and more critical with every business. Remember to engage and hear others out, it isn’t all about your business. You need to give in order to get. You can help people remember your business a little easier by leaving them with a memento of your business. By having truffles that are packaged with your business’s name and logo, it will leave an impression on people and they will remember the conversations that were had regarding business matters.