How To Network
Being in the business industry not only involves a role in promoting your product or service but also allows you to connect with other executives and brands to work together and strive further. Every successful businessman and businesswoman must know that an essential industry skill is networking to achieve bigger dreams.
So what is Networking?
Networking is a useful social skill when meeting executives from different companies and potential suppliers to help you grow your business. The purpose of networking is to establish relationships among other enterprises to open new windows of opportunity by giving benefits and services that can be useful to both parties.
Source: (Ward, Susan. 2021)
That said, it is essential for business students and aspiring CEOs to learn this skill. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Build confidence
Before you get yourself out there in the world, we must accept that the most critical tool to help you get what you want is CONFIDENCE. That doesn’t only mean that you have to look confident in the sense of fashion and poise, but be convinced that you are attractive and proud of who you are. As Coco Chanel, the Founder of Chanel, once said,
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”
- Attend social or formal events
What better way to practice your networking skills than attending social events that will push you to do so? Get out there! Learning about networking is pointless if you wait for someone to come up to you because you need to know when to initiate and strike up a conversation with potential partners.
- Set a plan on what relationships you want to build
Earlier I mentioned that you need to start conversations at social events to practice business networking. Remember that it must be meaningful and with intent. Always consider that the time of others is also important to them, so you can’t afford to waste any of it. Have a game plan first on what industries you want to collaborate or work with before heading out on the playing field. Do your research!
- Be clear with your intentions when approaching someone.
So now you know what and who you want to work with, time to work on your approach. The best advice for this is don’t beat around the bush. Be direct but sincere, and ensure your intentions are well thought out and understood. The goal is to set out an understanding of both parties being able to benefit from each other.
- DON’T bring others down to get what you want.
Never bring down other companies when you talk to future business partners or executives. No company would like a partnership with someone with a reputation for crab mentality. Build your company with dignity and respect. Form partners, not enemies.
There are other ways to work on skills in networking, but these five (5) essential points will give you a good foundation for building it. Networking is also used in forming friendships, communities, and more.
As the Author of The ConnectWorker, Michele Jennae, once said,
“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”
Maguire, A. (2022). 11 Tips for Successful Business Networking. Retrieved from: https://www.zenbusiness.com/blog/networking/
Kauffmann, B. (2019). 20 Business Networking Quotes – BNI Accelerators. Retrieved from: https://www.businessnetworkingwinnipeg.com/20-business-networking-quotes/
Business Queensland. (2022). Networking in Business. Retrieved from: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing/business-to-business/networking
Ward, S. (2021). Networking in Business. Retrieved from: Networking in business
Quotespedia. (n.d.). Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. – Coco Chanel. Retrieved from: https://www.quotespedia.org/authors/c/coco-chanel/beauty-begins-the-moment-you-decide-to-be-yourself-coco-chanel/