Interacting with influential people in parties, and collecting their visiting cards is just a touch point. Capitalizing your business on this network is totally a different ball game.
It requires due diligence and dedication over the years to build a relationship for a solid network. Once you have done it becomes a derivative to your success.
Networking should not be a temporary activity, it has to be an ongoing process, even when you are not at your desk. Aspiring business leaders have to learn the strategic networking technique for rapid business growth.
Primary reasons for networking
Why is it desirable to build a network with influential people and business groups of your domain?
· Immediate access to all service providers and vendors
· Quick response rate for contract base hiring
· Full extension to peers help
· Never face an issue of work crisis
· Referrals from the third party
· Updates on the latest trends and technology related to your business.
· Share ideas with similar business groups
Common Business Networking Mistakes
If the success of your business depends on networking then why to leave any corner of networking untouched, no matter how small or big your business is.
Unlike your business location, your network is not limited to the physical address. It has to proliferate in all directions. There are tons of way to build the network that is often overlooked.
· Not connecting with other communities
When it comes to pairing with individuals, usually you choose the known path for connection which is social media. It might look promising connecting through it but it limits your network spectrum. You have to explore another dimension for networking as well. Try to connect to lesser known communities like “Quora” or register with a “common platform for service providers”. There are other multiple online platforms where you can confluence with same business groups like Tumblr, musical.ly, tinder, etc. depending on your domain expertise.
· Not connecting to Niche forum or group
If you really want to build a close relationship with your clients or domain experts, join a Niche “forum”. But joining too many forum sometimes becomes complicated, try to zero in two or three forum of your field. There are big companies that also join this forum to get solutions and you can connect with them instantly.
· Not justifying your acquaintance
Let your client find you with your skills. Networking becomes easy if your clients know your whereabouts. There are very few networking sites that have a portal built especially for employees, where employees can build and upload their portfolio. It helps the employee in two ways, building their own network and establishing themselves as a brand.
· Not Paying heed to referrals
You need to pay attention to referrals coming through the third party or from the vendor’s site. Take immediate follow-up and honor these referrals.
· Not using Reviews/Testimonial for networking
This is the most overlooked attribute by vendors. Many of them believe “Reviews and Comments” are solely made for critics. No, that’s not true. You can convert those critics to your potential client. Ask for “Reviews and Comments” from them, you can even ask for the area of improvement for better service. It will help you to identify your weak zone, and at the same time, you have the opportunity to build a positive image in front of your clients. So, always be ready to listen to your client and make a bond with them through Reviews/Testimonials.
· Not connecting actively with Co-workers
Connecting with co-workers actively helps you to share ideas and gain knowledge. You develop this special”give and take” relation with co-workers over a period of time. Your equation with them will decide how your network will expand.
· Not connecting to diverse population
Usually, it’s a human tendency to connect with like-minded people, which is OK. But if you want to build up a B2B network, then you need to break that cocoon and connect with a diverse population. Diversity gives you the perspective to think out of the box and implement new ideas in your business.
Some Key takeaways for Business Networking
· Make your social networking activity a key part of your daily work.
· Locate and join networking site where other members sell their service or product same as you
· Rather than building numbers focus on people that show interest in your service
· Don’t miss out the client by not joining a common networking platform or joining much later than you should be
· Use software tools or plugins to optimize your networking activity