No matter how far technology advances, there are still some aspects of running a successful business that can never be separated from the human condition. Dealing with customers and networking are two aspects of running a successful business that will never be left to automation, at least not in its entirety. If you are going to really work at growing a customer base or a B2B list of contacts, the one thing you will need to learn to do efficiently is network.
1.) Make Contacts On Social Sites:
One of the ways in which technology can help you network is in using those handy apps that connect you to social sites so that you can build a huge following. Savvy iPad app developers have made a number of apps that help you follow trends and keep you informed as to what others are doing and alert you when there is something you may want to scrutinise a bit more closely. These apps combine the power of human interaction with the latest technology to help you network more effectively.
2.) Hit The Road:
Again, networking is human interaction between two or more people. There is no real way you can network from a hermitage. You need to get out there and hit the road. Talk to people at as many events as you can attend. Go door to door at local businesses if you need to. Attend awards ceremonies and perhaps even sponsor live events so that you can have access to the greatest number of people at the same time to build that list of contacts much quicker.
3.) Learn To Evaluate Each Contact:
One thing a successful networker will know is that you can’t count each contact as a solid lead. It may take a bit of practice but you need to learn to evaluate each person you meet by establishing a set of criteria pertinent to your business. If that person falls within those parameters, he or she can be counted as a lead. If not, don’t spin your wheels and move on to the next. Every single person you meet is a potential backlink and promotion opportunity. Treat people as such.
4.) Understand The Give And Take Rule:
You will also need to understand that in order to build a solid relationship with that contact, you will need to learn the give and take rule. Just as you are looking to get something out of the relationship, so too is that person you are trying to size up. Whether a B2B contact or a B2C contact, the other person is looking for something so it is up to you to find out what that something is. Remember the old adage, the more you give the more you get, so give a little and take a little and soon you will have built a relationship on mutual gain.
5.) Make The Rounds Again:
Each and every time you attend an event, join a social network or meet up with a new contact, make sure to take the time to stay in touch. Attend other functions those people attend and then take the initiative to nurture those new found relationships. By keeping the proverbial fire lit you will be more secure in that relationship and so with the other person be as well.
The art of networking can help you grow your business quickly but it does take some time to build a solid list of viable leads and B2B contacts. Make networking a vital part of your daily activities and before you know it you will have built a tidy list of leads that you can move on to convert. Networking is a vital component to a successful business so make it a habit to spend time meeting new contacts and nurturing old ones daily for greater success all the way around.