How to effectively network to grow your business

How to effectively network to grow your business

While networking is seen as a crucial way to develop businesses, it doesn’t come naturally to everybody. The art of building a professional network is very precise; if you’re quiet, you’ll never make an impression on anybody, but if you’re overzealous, you certainly will – just not necessarily the impression you wanted to make.

So how can you make networking work for you?

The first step is about balance.

Good networking etiquette is about balance and finding a natural position between being assertive and being considerate. Networking works best if you’re confident, but you must also take care not to overshadow everyone else.

The second step is about listening.

Good networking is based around good conversation, and good conversation is the keystone to a good relationship – whether personal or professional. We all know that the key to good conversation is about listening and responding in an interested and helpful manner. Don’t use networking as an opportunity to sell, but an opportunity to learn more. Ask questions and respond in thoughtful ways to help build up a rapport.

The third step is about building a relationship.

Follow up with your new contacts and keep up to date with their business. Remaining in touch will help establish a relationship, and when that person faces a challenge, you will be better placed to discuss with them how you can help them.

Chew on this:

Can you remember any networking faux-pas you’ve made? What did you learn from them?

Author: Safaraz Ali
My career began in the financial services sector and since 1999, I have been involved in the world of business. I am Head of Pathway Group, which is a workforce development solutions provider. Pathway Group specialise in apprenticeship training and recruitment. I also offer independent strategy, advice, and investment for a wide range of private business sector. These include: social care, education, training, and recruitment.