Bring Your Business to the Next Level with Top 5 Networking Tips

Ever debate the value of going to that breakfast conference on risk management or an evening social event with a guest speaker? Networking is a vital tool in a businessperson’s arsenal, especially when it comes to targeting new business.

Many people fear or neglect networking despite research revealing that 95% of people believe face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships.

With export orders for Northern Ireland companies rising at their fastest rate in 12 years during 2016, according to the Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index, international networking has an increasing key role to play for local businesses.

With this in mind, Vision Business Consultancy has issued its top tips for networking to help businesses create long-term relationships and build strong leads.

  1. Research and attend relevant events – The majority of networking takes place at events but it will prove fruitless without research as at times the event may not have the audience you are looking for. Instead, work out what sectors you are an expert in, who you would like to get in contact with and then create a database of relevant events from this information. It also important to research and understand the many different cultures represented at international events in order to prevent any communication missteps.
  2. Research attendees – Often events will have websites or hashtags for social media which makes it easy for you to track attendees. Review these websites and hashtags in advance to find out who is attending. Target businesses that you would like to connect with and do your research so you can show them that you know their business and what services their business needs to ensure you impress – first impressions count.
  3. Don’t forget your business cards – Although this may seem very basic, business cards are essential when networking as they are a professional way of providing a prospective client/customer with your contact details as well as your brand name and logo. Definitely do not give them your name and number on a napkin!
  4. Don’t talk business too early – Open a conversation with a question about something non-business related to relax the person you are talking to. This sets the tone for the conversation and will show that you’re ‘not simply after the business’. Why not ask what they have thought of the conference so far, where they are from, mention something interesting you did at the weekend or go back to the staple topic of conversations in this country: the weather!
  5. Reach out – There’s no point conversing with someone of interest if you don’t reach out or follow up after to build on the relationship. You can send them a quick email thanking them for their time and offering to meet up for a coffee, or else send through articles that may be useful for their business or connect and engage with them on social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Vision Business Consultancy is led by Grainne Convery who is widely recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s leading business consultants and foremost authority on brand communications. Grainne has many years’ experience across a diverse range of business sectors and a multitude of areas of expertise; business fixer, commercial director, brand and marketing expert and business champion, financially intuitive with strong business nous.

For more tips and information on Vision Business Consultancy visit our website or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Posted by Grainne Convery