Everyone knows the golden rule in Entrepreneurship is to network, but very few truly understand why this rule is held so sacred, or how they can gain the results they so desperately desire. At Our Space we champion networking by hosting multiple business events each and every week, enabling members to achieve outstanding progress for their business. That’s why we thought we’d share our expertise on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’, when it comes to networking...
- Listen to Lessons Learnt
Don’t be the person that holds the following 3 line conversation: ‘Who are you?’, ‘What do you do?’ and ‘Can I have your business card?’. If you actually engage in conversation and take enough time to get to know the person in front of you, you can walk away with valuable insight into the experience of fellow entrepreneurs. Make it your mission to learn something new. It could save you a lot of mistakes in the future.
- Meet the ‘Connectors’
Even if your dream clients aren’t in the room, scope out who is. Those who attend networking events are likely to have large networks themselves and if they learn enough about you, this enables them to act as your connector and ambassador in the future, when you need an introduction to the people you’d ideally like to be connected with.
- Partner with People
Don’t be narrow minded. Before moving onto the big goal of meeting new clients, think about how you can benefit from partnering with the people who are not potential clients. They might have expertise in an area which isn’t your strength or they may be within the same industry with insight to share.
- Win New Clients
Now it’s time to focus. Think outside the box when it comes to the ways in which you can pitch yourself to potential new clients. Research the events you’re attending and either try to access the guest list or take an educated guess at whether attendees are likely to fit your ideal client profile.
- 80% of Success is Showing Up
This is true. The first step to succeeding in networking is actually turning up to the events. So, subscribe to all the mailers that feed you the relevant event information required, then fill your calendar and commit to a certain amount of events per week. Getting yourself there will be the hardest part, the rest will follow.
- Soft Sell and Exchange
Don’t boast, don’t sell too hard and never underestimate the person in front of you. Instead, talk modestly about what you do and listen hard to what they do. If you’re going to take control, you’re going to have to be the follower, rather than assuming others will follow you. On this note, you should never give your business card and trust the connection you just made will get in touch with you. Be the master of your fate, the captain of your soul; get their details so you absolutely know that you have what you need to follow through.
- Cement the Connection
Lots of people meet many contacts at networking events. To truly consider yourself a real connection of another, invite them to meet up for a second time, just the two of you. If possible, attend something together for a third time. This way, when you need to ask that person for a favour or an introduction, it will feel more like a genuine request than a loose tie.
- Keep in Touch
The best kind of connections are friends and family friends. You’ll know this from when you were growing up and you watched your friends get the best work experience from their parents friends. Why? Because they have invested interest in the happiness and success of their circle. So, that is the aim: make friends. Connect with them on every level and every platform you can (don’t overkill too soon though, you don’t want to scare them off). If you’re still speaking one year later, we’d say you pretty much succeeded at effectively growing your network.
Interested in becoming part of a growing global community, where networking and connections come first? Book a tour and let Our Space show you what’s waiting around the corner for ambitious entrepreneurs.