When it comes to networking, the key is to be yourself and keep in mind that it’s just people!
Networking is about building trusting relationships, no matter the depth (you’d be surprised how a brief conversation might later strike up some more business!). And if you find yourself in one of those brief conversations, a great tip for getting more information (and more engagement) is to ask open ended questions; who, what, where, how and when are much better than questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Plus, you’ll gain more insight!
If you can become known for being a great source of info, and a powerful resource to others in your industry, people will come to you for suggestions and solutions, as well as refer customers your way, which will maintain your businesses visibility and could lead to increased sales! It’s also a good idea to follow through on referrals as soon as you can – a good reaction won’t just reflect your business, but also the one you’ve been referred by, and keeping them happy will keep the referrals coming!
One more handy tip is to make sure you have a complete understanding of what it is you do, who you do it for, and what makes you stand out from competitors (what makes you so special!). OF course you know your business through and through, but you might be surprised how beneficial it can be to really define these key facts (even write them down!); when you know the what, who and why, and can articulate them quickly and effectively, you can avoid any unnecessary confusion, and possibly increase business!
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