Networking is one of the best methods of reaching new clients to further your organisation.
The concept is simple and effective in that you need only meet and speak to new clients for it to be effective, however, what you say as an organisation will relate to how effective this will be.
Good presentation makes for better results.
That's where most networking opportunities are lost.
At the point where you have to physically (or virtually) present yourself and your organisation to the client. There are many reasons for this and often they are to do with advertising yourself, your product or your organisation in the wrong way. Sometimes this is because it was too formal, or you pushed the message across rather than delivered it- so the first key point is what do you do (and not do) when networking.
Networking is no different than a conversation in many respects.
While you may be there on official business or representing an organisation, it's not just about you. The client may have questions, suggestions or a product of their own they'd like to offer you. Be polite and build up a rapport with your client.
Looking towards the future.
Sometimes networking is about tomorrow, not today.
When you connect with clients and organisations there are several benefits besides selling your product to them. They are most likely going to have contacts, products and clients of their own and this is a great opportunity for you. Consider all forms of networking and try to put yourself across as much as possible.
Finally, understand what kind of networking you are going to and plan accordingly.
There are so many different types of networking available and each will require a different outlook from you before it can be successful. Researching is a must. Always check the policies of the organisation or website you're going to network with/on and make the right decisions.
So where do you network? Or, rather, where can you network?
Well, for this there are so many options; trade shows, business networking seminars, corporate events, at other organisations, via the internet, using social media (ie. Facebook/Twitter) and even some smaller online communities.
The beautiful thing about social media is just that- it's social.
Most people will have access to one of the social media resources, if not several, and this is a great way to deliver information straight to them on something that actually use. Rather than directing them to a website or using an electronic newsletter, you can send updates straight to the sites they actually use and keep them connected all the time.
It might seem like a time consuming process and like you would need a whole department to run all of these social media networking sites- but it can be done effectively with just a few people. From these people you will gain countless opportunities to connect with clients, products and organisations.
Not to mention it's free.
The above suggestions are also a small part of the wide range of networks available.
There are hundreds more and not all of them will be applicable or useful to your organisation but they are there and people are connected to them. Finding the ones that best suit your organisation will make all the difference in successfully networking online.
The same principles also apply with physical networking at trade shows. There are so many different shows, events, seminars, meetings and so on that it's not possible to go them all. Nor is it profitable. But, again, finding those who are useful to you will make all the difference.
That's all for now- thank you for your time!
All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation