Building connections are the groundwork required for anything in today’s world. But most importantly, it is required for people who are in the field of marketing and need as many clients as possible. This comes through community outreach and to be an entrepreneur, one needs to self-establish their image in a large and wide manner. As an entrepreneur, you need to be constantly evolving with the market and time and to understand the user base being targeted.
Here are a few tips to follow for effective networking to follow as an entrepreneur:
1. Identify targeted community:
Carry out pre-emptive research before attending any community networking event and prepare accordingly. Understand and analyze their aim for being at the event in the first place and act and reach out accordingly. Reaching out to the right type of audience for the right topic is essential. This is because if you want clients for, say, automobile sales it is not practical to gather the same at a furniture event.
2. Use the “Rule of Sevens”:
Using various efficient communication methods is the secret to success here. According to the rule, there are 7 seconds for the first impression, 14 seconds for interest creation and 21 seconds allotted for the briefing. Practice this technique over and over till you’re perfect and try and get feedback from peers.
3. Prepared for Business:
Always have business cards for you to share and be prepared for your business pitch. This shows you’re prepared and ready to handle any business opportunities as well as a display of services available.
4. Be memorable and authentic:
By showing sincere interest in your client engagements, you’re going to be having a good memory and act instantly. Lend an ear to what the requirements, and needs of your clients are. Enquire more about their goals and companies and in the process, your personality also should be inspirational so they want to know more about you too.
5. Organizing contacts:
Always list your contacts and clients by titles and their contacts. The way you met them and how could they help you and vice versa. Noting down such basic information to review later can help in your business growth big time without repeating the engagement process.
6. Take instant action:
After discussing your business at an event or meeting, scheduled for phone conversations with old and newly gained contacts. Always try and act after the event on the things you talked about and within 2 days. This helps you build relationships and expand professionally.
7. Joining networking groups:
By vetting and making the decision to join an organization, take action as discussed earlier also, instead of relaxing. Take up leadership or join some group to benefit your rapid progress. Networking as an entrepreneur requires constant efforts and for that, you need to find opportunities wherever possible. To truly stand out from the crowd, evolve and grab every opportunity to network by meeting people constantly. Learning is constant and that comes with meeting new people and getting to experience new things and learning from the people you meet and experiences from your line of profession.
8. Keeping contacts fresh:
Following up is the key to keeping your contacts updated and accessible. By staying in their contact circles regularly they can refer to you as and when needed for their specific needs on offer. Being in their circles don’t mean personally, but via phone calls, emails and LinkedIn private messages. Expressing thankfulness for any time is always courteous and professional and goes a long way. Also, keep in touch with them to provide your support for the services offered or available.
9. Perfect your approach to following up:
As all the areas of marketing go, following up is quintessential for expansion and business growth. Unless you don’t follow up, gaining leads and new clients all go to waste. This is because the just won’t be interested as much. Also, as mentioned earlier also follow up and get in touch within 2 days. It can be a gratuitous email thanking them for the time. It is a great idea to bring up the topic of how your products and services can assist their organization.
10. Staying optimistic:
An optimistic behavior anywhere never lets anyone down irrespective of the circumstances. Maintaining a positive outlook and attitude will take you to great success. Avoid getting disheartened by failures and distracted. As an entrepreneur quitting is not acceptable as not everyone has that kind of motivation level and skills to be an entrepreneur. You have to stand out and above the crowd to influence. No one will find their inspiration in a person who is not wise and quits easily. Patience is the key to success here and that is the occupational test here.
11. Ditching the sales pitch:
You don’t have to carry the marketer attitude everywhere. Being an entrepreneur needs one to be in control of the masses minds at events and essentially getting them to listen to you. But if the only thing you’re going to talk about is sales like a marketing professional, that is not going to help and people will start losing interest quickly. The conversation exchange should be fun and light as starting off with a sales pitch after meeting someone is a big no. Get their attention first and make your way up the strategy you have devised.
Entrepreneurship is not easy and not everyone can be at that level. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to have a clear strategy and be friendly and not too pushy. Getting people to listen should be your first step and that involves a great go-getter attitude as well as an optimistic behavior. Staying in touch and keeping up with your contacts is a sure shot way to get more engagements and reach out to a wider audience. Following these tips will greatly help you in improving your business efforts as well as entrepreneurial skills.