These past few days I’ve been very busy getting around the things I have to accomplish for a project of mine that I’m working on together with Calvin under IMovators and to tell you the truth, it’s something that I’m really excited about. To get the project going, it’s necessary to build the right connections with the right people – in other words, good business networking.
Don’t belittle the idea of networking or just think that business networking is only for those who are running their businesses. In fact, it is a very valuable tool that is important to almost everyone and especially those who are looking for connections/help to assist them in their work. Good business networking is all the more important for those who are running businesses or in the public relations industry because of the need to reach out to others as well as increase your company’s visibility.
So what is GOOD business networking?
Good business networking is really about reaching out to the right people and letting them know who you are and what you do. Moreover, it’s about establishing a sincere connection such that the person will remember you and what you do. If you can successfully create an impact on the first impression or on the first meeting with another, can create for themselves opportunities that come by when these contacts of yours will seek you out whenever they need someone of your skills and talents and will also recommend you to others.
From my experience, it really doesn’t matter whom you network with. Ultimately, it’s really the relationships that you create with others that can bring you a long way because you never know who they may know or possibly run into at some time in the future that may open a door of opportunity for you. No man is an island thus, it’s important that you build sincere relationships with others, take a genuine interest in people and let them know that you are there to help them just as they are to help you. Never rule anyone out as not having the ability to be useful because that is just adopting a very superficial view towards the relationships you create during networking.
Good business networking can be done anywhere and with anyone. Always be polite and don’t be shy to approach people at functions and events. Adopt a positive attitude and smile when starting a conversation or when getting to know someone. It is important to introduce yourself and tell them what you do and what you hope for. If you have any plans which you are passionate about, share them but don’t force people to conform with your views because you have to respect that others may view things differently. Do remember to bring along some business cards and hand them out before politely ending the conversation or moving onto another topic. In addition, be polite to accept any cards that are given by others as well.
One thing that is very important in business networking is to be courteous and professional when dealing with anyone. Do not be affected by what others may say and just be yourself. Do not be pretentious by behaving like a person whom you are not. Good business networking is not just about you but about listening to the people you meet and building up relationships such that if you were to hear of an opportunity that may be beneficial to them, you can let them know also.
So what happens after the initial meeting?
Well, you definitely need to put in effort to maintain contact with them. Be it just a drop of an SMS message or an email. It is always nice to feel remembered. People feel special when they’re remembered. Just like if you were to receive a call from someone out of the blue because of your networking and are presented with an opportunity, you would feel happy. It is because of the knowledge that they have made a lasting impression of themselves on you that opened this door of opportunity and resulted in you contacting them.
If someone you know has helped you by opening a door of opportunity for you, take some time to thank them for their help. Good business networking involves you showing your appreciation as well as maintaining this relationship that you have created. So do remember to meet them for a meal or just even a simple drop of an email will be good. Treat your contacts as your friends and you will realise that you have already achieved the best outcome expected of good business networking!