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Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 21
Networking is a term that is often misunderstood. Business owners know it is important but often don’t fully understand how to do it effectively. Most business owners go into networking events thinking they’re a great opportunity to sell something. But picture a room full of business owners who all have that same mindset. It’s only natural that they’ll feel discouraged because no one is buying.
What many don’t understand is that networking is about expanding opportunities and developing relationships. Business owners need to ask themselves how they can become a resource for their clients and customers. The answer is to educate people on what they’re looking for and to look for ways to sell through people, rather than directly to them. Consider the following tips.
Before the event: Have a strategy. Business owners should go into the event knowing who they want to meet to expand their contacts and resources.
During the event: Engage in meaningful conversations and look for ways to help other people. Don’t spend too much time with any single person but be sure to ask how you can help.
After the event: Follow-up. Follow-up. Most people forget to reach out to contacts they’ve made at the event. Making follow-up phone calls and scheduling meetings are critical components that will help open new doors.
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