Some people love it and some people hate it but there’s no denying that networking allows you to meet and connect with a whole host of potential customers and suppliers, here are 5 Networking Tips for Small Businesses in Preston.
To shy away from networking could be detrimental to your growing business and it’s definitely worth finding groups where you can connect with other businesses. The advancement of technology means you don’t even need to meet face to face as there are plenty of places to network online although nothing can really compete with a personal relationship. You can build relationships online and then move on to face-to-face meetings and events once you’re feeling more comfortable and confident.
There are many benefits of networking – you get to share knowledge, exposure to opportunities such as partnerships and new clients, make new connections that could lead to more new customers through referrals, networking can boost your confidence and improve your profile.
Here are 5 tips for successful networking:
- Be yourself To get the most out of networking you need to build trust and form good relationships. Don’t see it as a way to make new business, see it as a way to meet new people.
- Prepare Make sure you know what you want to get out of networking so you pick the right groups for your needs. Bring business cards and contact details.
- Make sure you follow up any new referrals If you get referrals from your networking session don’t neglect to follow up as this will impact on your contact and give a bad impression.
- Listen Don’t feel like you have to do all the talking, networking is as much about listening to others as it is talking. Ask questions and really pay attention to their answers. You want to come across as someone who is interested in what others have to say and share.
- Keep in touch You need to keep maintain and strengthen the relationships you make through networking so make sure you stay in touch via social media and regular meetings.
Above all, networking is all about building strong relationship and sharing knowledge. There are lots of groups you can attend as well as social media. In Preston there are many networking events, early morning networking groups and networking directories here are just a few:
- Shout Network
- Business Breakfast Club Preston
- Lets Do Business
- The Business Network
- Preston Chamber of Commerce
Or search for a networking group near you:
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