Business To Business Networking For Women: Dos And Don`Ts By: Lenka Lutonska
“Local business networking events” is probably one of the first phrases you type into Google after deciding to go it alone, and rightfully so. Business networking should be part of the marketing strategy for any business, especially those in the start-up phase. But, to benefit from business to business networking takes more than exchanging business cards and delivering the “sixty seconds pitch”. Getting business through networking requires the right approach, strategy, attitude, and etiquette. Here are my top five dos and don’ts of business networking. These points will help you get most out of your local networking events:
DO: 1.Be yourself. Yes, business-to-business networking is important. The truth is, though, that there is no such a thing as business-to-business networking. There is only people-to-people networking. So let others know who you really are. Surely you are more than your profession. As others get to know you and learn to trust you, getting their business will come naturally. 2.Get to know other people. Discover what is behind people’s titles. Are they parents? What are their hobbies? What are they proud of? What are their challenges? Who are they, really? Expressing genuine interest in other people is the basis for building meaningful relationships. And a trusting relationship is the basis for giving and receiving valuable business referrals. 3.Help others. Attending business networking events with the main objective of assisting others, rather than benefiting yourself, can make a world of difference. Why? Because people instinctively recognize whether you are there to give or take. Over time, givers gain from business-to-business networking the most. 4.Be unique. When asked what you do, answering, “I am an accountant” will instantly pool you with accountants. People will forget you. Be memorable by distinguishing yourself from the rest. Practice delivering your unique selling point in a memorable, interesting way. Beware of overstepping a mark. “I am a genie in a bottle and make other people’s wishes come true” is not the most professional description of a financial advisor!
5.Ask for help. People love helping others. If you have a challenge, bring it to the table and ask for help. You will be surprised at how much valuable advice you will receive from fellow business networkers. Youâ€™ll also find that your challenge is not unique to you! DONâ€™T: 1.Expect instant results. Expecting instant results is the biggest mistake new networkers make. Getting business out of the first business networking event is not what business networking is about. It is about sawing the seeds, giving others opportunity to gradually get to know you, to learn to like you, and trust you. Once you achieve that, business comes naturally. 2.Do all the talking. Doing all the talking is a major turn-off. Remembering that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason is certainly wise when it comes to business networking. 3.Sell. Your fellow business networkers should never feel like they are potential prospects. That is another instant turn-off. Instead, let business happen by getting to know each other. Brainstorm ideas for helping each other. 4.Give your business cards to everyone. Giving away thirty business cards during one business networking event is not a good benchmark for the success of your networking strategy. Business cards without genuine interest mean nothing. So hand them only to the fellow networkers that you truly wish to talk to further. Quality over quantity! 5.Just forget about it. What happens a day after the business networking event is as important as what happens during the event. Remember to follow up on people you exchanged business cards with. At minimum, email them with a thank you note. This will help you to stand out from the majority of forgettable business networkers. This list is useful, but by no means exhaustive. As you regularly attend your local business networking events, you will develop more dos and donâ€™ts that work for you. All the best!
If you are a London or Hertfordshire-based woman in business, we want to hear from you. Come along to one of our Neuvo Woman Business Club events to discover new, effective ways of business to business networking!
business to business networking