Business networking has proven to be the backbone of social business activities. Entrepreneurs and business owners all over the world are striving to meet one another to strengthen their business bonds. This creation of business-oriented social relationships is found to help the creation of business opportunities.

As an entrepreneur, you need to become a skilled business networker. This means that you must be quick with making connections by being skillful with your words. The secret to being a successful entrepreneur is to have flawless and impactful communication skills. This does not only mean speaking well but is a combination of quite a few things. Here are the ten tips that will help you improve your business networking skills:

1. First impressions

They say that the first impression is the last impression. It’s quite true; first and foremost impressions do last a lifetime. In business networking, always try to make the best first impression and communicate effectively with a smile. The interaction you make when you first meet a fellow business networker is one that will stay engraved into their minds for a very long time.  A person who has given a good first impression and an introduction that is impressive; is usually hard to forget.

2. Support other networkers

Always try to communicate with the people and ask them what dilemmas they face. Share your problems and lessons learned from past experiences to help them relate to the same level as you. Give suggestions to what you think will help them solve their problems. People really value that you understand their problems and also help to solve them. Sometimes, even the biggest entrepreneurs are facing problems that you might have a solution to. Who knows? Maybe that little advice you gave them benefited them enough to make them want to crack a deal with you!

3. Communicate to learn

To become an effective business networker you need to listen to others. No one enjoys having a one-sided conversation. Make sure you give others a chance to speak You might not quite be interested in what the other person has to say but remember, their thoughts are just as important as yours. Let them speak their mind as this will help you relate to their frame of mind. This information might come in handy while making better decisions if you might have a business deal with that person later.

4. Keep the energy levels up

Your positive energy can be used as an asset in helping you become a skilled business networker. Smile and give off the right aura. Become someone who tends to give positive vibes to those around you. This helps people build confidence in you as a person, which makes them want to carry out business ordeals with you.

5. Stay positive

Always stay positive around people. Never indulge in activities which may portray you as a mean person. Try staying focused and positive when meeting people. While interacting with people who you’re meeting for the first time, be very positive. Do not give off an uninviting vibe as most people tend to pick those up quite well.

6. Slow and steady

Never rush and try to talk too much to convey all the information about yourself. Yes, you may have many certifications from reputable institutions but the first meeting is not the right time to tell someone all that. Slow and steady wins the race. Make sure you don’t run too fast or you may come across as a preposterous person who likes to toot their own horn. Be humble, a slight introduction is all that’s needed when you meet someone for the first time.

7. Recognise and appreciate others

Appreciate and value even the smallest gestures and acknowledge people for what they do for you. Has someone shown up with a bottle of champagne of a bouquet of flowers? Make sure that you personally thank them. People who appreciate the little efforts done by other people are very successful. The best form of encouragement that you can give someone is to acknowledge their efforts. Who knows? Your praise can make their day.

8. Stay honest

Always stick to the truth and state only the facts. Don’t exaggerate or tell lies just to sound more successful. Stay straightforward and always tell the people the truth; not what they want to hear. Being honest might sometimes cause you a bit of a hassle for the time being but it can save you a lot of embarrassment in the long run.

9. Don’t forget follow-ups

Whenever you tell someone that you will call them or send them an email, do it. Forgetting to contact a potential client, partner or even acquaintance is considered to be a business networking suicide. If you want to earn the trust of people and influence them in one way or the other, you need to respect them. If you suffer from a bad memory, set up a proper system to make follow-ups.

10. Know the effects of what you do and not do

Always remember that networking is not only about linking to those who may be of use to you in your business ordeals. The network you build should not only consist of people that you contact when you need something. This selfish approach can result in negative results for you in networking. Networking works on the principle of mutual understanding, to be successful you should also help others and thus create an effective business networking.

Now you know what you have to do to make your business networking effective and better in the best possible ways. This will not only help you grow in your career but also help in nurturing your social skills. Social skill is an art which will in help you become a good entrepreneur and a successful entrepreneur.


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About Sam Sayer

Currently leading DeType Ltd, a digital creative agency working with a client base across a wide range of sectors - specialising in web design and branding.

Over 12 years experience in the design industry, working for some of the leading design agencies in the Midlands on branding, motion, UX, online and print projects. Key projects include branding projects for West Cornwall Pasty Company, All Bar One, Searcys and Team GB for London 2012, and working with multi award-winning TMC, Click Travel.

One time promoter running Stimulus, a successful event for 17 years in and around the Midlands. Keen DJ when time allows, playing for the award-winning event Spectrum as well as my own ventures, though these days I'm building the sites rather than spinning the tunes!