Love it or hate it, networking is a key attribute of successful business owners. Building the right relationships can open doors for future customers, employee hires, investors, partners, and more. However, unless you’re a natural born seller, many people do find the networking to be stressful. Learn how to boost your small business networking confidence today with these tips.
Find your own authentic story
People are captivated by stories, especially ones that are genuine and personal. Rather than saying boasting a laundry list of your accomplishments, go for story telling. These are usually the most memorable and allows you to build strong rapport with others. You should have a few personal go-to stories on hand, especially ones about your early days starting the business and the inspiration behind your idea.
It may seem counterintuitive but having familiar faces in a networking environment stops you from moving out of your comfort zone. When you are alone, your survival instincts kick in and forces you to mingle with others. You’ll end up meeting significantly more people this way.
Help others without asking for anything in return
Most people go to networking events with the intention of finding people that can help them. Instead, go with the attitude of how can help others. Look for mutual interest and see what knowledge or resources you can offer. This allows you to have meaningful dialogue and leaves a favourable impression to those who interact with you, setting the foundation for a meaningful relationship. After all, who can forget someone that treats them well?
Follow up regularly
The initial legwork of meeting new people helps open many doors and opportunities. However, these contacts quickly go cold if you do not seek to nurture these newfounded relationships. Work on following up immediately after the event and set reminders to periodically check in on key contacts to maintain relationships. This will give you the confidence to reach out when you really need help on something.