It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know, that knows, what you know. Increasing business is the goal of every company, but the fact of the matter is, people do business with people they know, like and trust, not companies. Of course companies get the business, but it’s people who make it happen and business networking connects you with those people. Whatever it is that you need to become the success you want to be, is only one connection away.
Here are 5 habits of highly successful business networkers that will help you build your professional business network.
- Always Keep Your Online Profile Updated. Do an online search of your own name and see what shows up. Would you do business with you? In today’s world it is so important to have an online presence and making sure your profile is up to date at all times. Get a professional head shot and use it in your profile. Update projects you’ve completed, goals you have accomplished, business awards you have won, and educational levels you have achieved.
- Always Have Business Cards. Although many people are of the thought that they don’t need business cards because of technology, I believe that as long as the Baby Boomer generation exists, you need legible business cards. They don’t have to be fancy and they don’t have to give your life story. Keep it short, sweet, and simple. A business card is simply your contact information, who you are and how someone can get in touch with you. Name, phone and cell number, physical address (if you work from one and meet clients there), email address, and website, in nothing smaller than 9 point type with no picture behind the type.
- Personal Visibility, Business Networking Events. An email or a phone call will never replace the feeling of shaking someone’s hand and looking them in the eye. Emotion is a tremendous part of the decision-making process and you don’t get an emotional response from an email or phone call from someone you don’t know. You do, however, get an emotional response from meeting someone for the first time, looking them in the eye, shaking their hand, and getting to know them. Remember, people like to do business with people they know, get to know people. Schedule at least 1 networking event a week.
- Smile, Listen and Learn. It’s been said that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. It’s also been said that you have one mouth and two ears because you are supposed to listen twice as much as you speak. I say, use your mouth to smile and ask questions. Smiling puts everyone at ease and makes them smile. Questions gives the other person something to talk about and a feeling of control. The funny thing is, is that the questions you ask should guide them to feeling comfortable with you, and to the answers you seek about doing business with them. Smile, speak less and listen attentively, most of the time people will talk themselves into wanting to refer to you and do business with you.
- The Fortune is in The Follow Up. Most importantly, make sure to follow-up with everyone you meet within 3 days. The faster you follow-up with them, the more they will remember, so the sooner, the better. This is where you can have more of an opportunity to get to know them and how you can help them grow their business and yours as well with what you have to offer each other. This can be in form of direct business, or referrals, either way, it a Win-Win, and the beginning of a strong business relationship.
I hope this helps you in building a strong professional business network. Happy networking.
Put these valuable habits to good use, at The Ultimate Networking Event Live.
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Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda.
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Thomas Camarda is a professional networker, expert in his field, and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.
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