Networking should be a key component of your marketing strategy if you want to boost sales. As a business owner, franchisee, or career seeker, your top priority is likely to secure the next sale, deal, or opportunity. However, many people make the mistake of ignoring networking, using the excuse that they are too busy, or simply not understanding what it entails.
As an online marketing and digital consultant, I have noticed how often people overlook the importance of networking. Attending networking events and making new connections is crucial for spreading the word about your business and letting people know you exist.
People often think networking events are a waste of time, yet networking events can be a valuable learning experience, even if it doesn’t immediately result in a new sale or lead. If you find that an event wasn’t useful, take the opportunity to reflect on why and how you can improve for future events. It’s all about perspective and finding ways to benefit from attending networking events.
There are many benefits to networking, including the opportunity to introduce yourself and your business to potential customers, partners, or investors. One common challenge is knowing what to say in a short period of time. However, by prioritizing networking and making it a regular part of your marketing strategy, you can build valuable relationships that can lead to new opportunities and sales.
Introducing yourself is one of the biggest hurdles and wasted opportunities at networking events. One often doesn’t know what to say in a short period of time.
- Learn how people introduce themselves. See how they introduce themselves to give you ideas on how to introduce yourself.
- Listen to what people share in their introductions, is it clear? Did you understand what they offer?
- What can you learn from good introductions and what can you use to craft your own introduction?
Practice makes perfect and boosts confidence. Unless you are retired or do not need to earn money, you will have to face people if you want to earn money and you will need to be able to sell what is you are offering. Whether you go for a job interview or have to sell your products or services to a potential buyer. In both settings, you need to be clear, confident and effective and most importantly the listener needs to understand you.
- Every opportunity you have to introduce yourself at a networking event is an opportunity to boost your confidence for times when you need it most, like having to present to a client you want to do business with.
- Networking in small settings gives you the confidence to present to larger audiences when the opportunity arises.
- Networking gives you the confidence to speak up in board meetings for example.
Another good use that networking has to offer is using the audience as your sounding board. It isn’t easy to come up with words that describe what you do that is understood by the listener or reader.
- Having to come up with a short introduction that explains exactly what you want your audience or customer to understand pushes you to step out of your comfort zone and be creative.
- It’s a perfect setting to see if what you are communicating to others gets you leads, if it doesn’t then you know you need to go back to the drawing board.
Networking can help you create content for your online profile.
- Having to come up with a short elevator speech gives you a kickstart to drafting your biography which you can use on your website and on sites such as LinkedIn.
- You can use the same introduction and convert it into something event organisers can use when you are invited to be a guest speaker.
For growing businesses and brands, networking is a powerful tool to research your potential customer, to listen and understand what is on people’s minds. It is also the perfect setting to listen to what people are not saying.
One doesn’t need money to make money. One needs access to people, a network. Whether you are an established brand, a growing business or you are just starting out. For established and growing businesses, networking is a powerful information tool that adds value to help you:
- Understand people and human behaviour.
- To see what people are up to?
- To help you understand what is on people’s minds so that you can deliver better products or services.
If you are looking for customers, as the decision-maker you need to be out there informing people that you are open for business. The point of networking is word-of-mouth marketing because you never know when someone knows someone who is in need of what you have to offer.
If you are wanting to start a business or maybe you are struggling to find customers or join a business as an employee,
- Use networking to learn and observe how people engage in the business arena.
- Use the opportunity to get noticed.
- Use the opportunity to practice and boost your confidence.
First impressions count, use networking as a stepping stone to pivot you on your dream to being your own boss or to boost your career. Instead of stressing and worrying about where the money will come from use your time wisely in preparation for the opportune moment and when that moment comes with each networking event you attend you will have gained confidence and knowledge placing you in a position of strength giving you the advantage over other people who are fighting for the same position or looking to find customers.
If you are a determined go-getter wanting to grow your customer base or if you would like to add value to a business with similar interests to yours, why not join us at the next event?