How to Up Your Business Networking Game & Grow Your Brand

Business networking is probably the most underrated growth hacking strategy. It generates new leads and referrals, strengthens customer relations, and helps you gain useful market insights. In fact, for small businesses, 85% of customers come from word of mouth referrals! Yet, most marketers don’t have a networking strategy.

As an entrepreneur, you may be attending networking events where you meet potential clients, vendors, and make new connections. But simply attending these events won’t be enough. It is important that you make an impression and provide value to fellow attendees. This ensures that you and your brand will be remembered for future business relations.

Here are some tips to help you network like a pro and strengthen your brand:

1. Network Outside Your Industry Groups

While your own industry group may be convenient to network with, it’s wise to spend minimal time doing so. While they can be helpful, the people you meet in these groups will mostly be competitors. Naturally, they won’t buy your products or services. Instead, attend events where you can interact with people from different industries.

If you find your existing clients at an event, you may even get some valuable introductions. You can also attend events where your prospective clients are holding a talk and speak to them once they’re done. Regardless of the situation, keep your conversation relevant to each prospect and stay focused on how you can help them. Make sure you don’t hard sell as that’s sure to put them off!

2. Skip the Small Talk

Let’s be honest; we all hate it and yet we do it. When you spend your valuable time at a seminar or a conference, don’t waste it by talking about the weather or how bad the traffic is. Keep your goal in mind – build new connections and discover opportunities.

Remember, businesses involve people and people love to talk about themselves. So, make sure you ask your prospects questions that dig deeper – why they started their business, things they are excited about, problems their business faces, etc. This will keep the conversation going and make it more memorable.

3. Go Beyond What You Do

Like you, there will be other entrepreneurs from the same industry at the event. To distinguish yourself, don’t just tell your prospect what you do. Share some unique facts about you that they will remember – maybe you enjoy surfing or have a passion for collecting World War memorabilia.

If you’re lucky, you may find someone who shares your interests. Even if your prospect doesn’t currently need your services, they will think of you when they are considering a change.

4. Take Notes

You will meet a lot of people at networking events. Unless you have an exceptional memory, remembering everything will be quite a feat. So, whenever possible, take some notes in your phone’s note-taking app. Jot down particulars like names, e-mail addresses, details of the conversation, interests, and other useful data.

Following up is a big part of networking. Note-taking will help you to be prepared for the next time you speak to them. If you promised someone to connect them to one of your contacts, make sure that you do so. Your notes will remind you of any such detail and help you close. Moreover, it will give an impression that you appreciate a chance to get their business.

5. Send Something to Remember You By

If you want to send your prospect a reminder or appreciation gift, promotional products can do an excellent job. Let’s say one of the people you spoke to likes to play golf. You can send them a set of golf balls with your brand’s logo. Similarly, pens and BBQ sets will be cherished as gifts and serve as reminders for your brand.

With these business networking tips, you can make sure that the next time you attend an event, you will come back with many potential business opportunities. Promo Direct has a wide range of promotional products. Feel free to have a look and pick one to enhance your networking skills.

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