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Why Networking is Great for Your Business
Now more than ever, technological advances such as live streaming and virtual meeting are making it easier for us to connect with others and consume online content without ever having to leave our desks. Businesses are embracing new opportunities, but are we starting to underestimate the power of face-to-face networking?
Networking is a great way to form and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with others who are linked to your business sector, market, or region. It is an excellent resource tohelp raise your profile, meet new customers, develop your skills, establish partnerships, build a presence in other markets, and source new suppliers.
Below we’ll explore the benefits of attending networking events and how by ignoring face-to-face networking you might be missing out…
Increasing Your Company’s Profile
Establishing brand awareness is essential for all businesses and attending networking events is an incredibly effective way to do this. To get the biggest return for your networking investment, make sure you get in front of the right people at events you attend. Find out who’ll be there and plan your time accordingly. Networking builds your reputation as knowledgeable, reliable and supportive within your industry.
It’s a Good Way to Build Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures, and Gain Referrals
Realistically speaking, it’s rare to find people who walk away from business networking events with pockets full of contracts. Meeting people at a networking function is just the first step towards generating new leads and customers. Following up with contacts made at networking events is key to strengthening the relationships that will increase your bottom line.
Keep On Top of Business Trends
Attending networking events related to your target market allows you to find out more information about current and future market trends in your sector. At Kompass we often find networking events are a great source of information about our industry. Speaking with experts in varying fields gives you a broader business perspective and and might throw up some interesting opportunities to explore.
Connect to Key Influencers in Your Industry (and within Your Target Market)
Networking provides you with a great source of connections, as well as opening the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to or find in everyday life.
It’s not just about who you are networking directly with, either. That person will already have a network you can connect with as well. Make sure you ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know
Many business events have speakers who are experts in fields that will be of interest to you and to your audience. They usually not only impart important information, but they can often be the impetus that moves you into action.
Refine Your Marketing Message
Use business networking events to practice and refine your marketing message. Make sure that it conveys in 30 seconds or less what solutions you provide, and the benefits of doing business with you. Practice until you feel confident that you are conveying your message in the most powerful and compelling way for your audience.
Recruit and Find Other Professionals to Help Your Organisation
If you are looking to expand your business and hire staff, networking events are potential starting points to begin your recruitment search. You will be able to enter into conversations with potential employees and get clear on what your needs are.
Networking events are also a great way to meet other professionals that can help you make your organisation run smoother. You may find yourself offering business solutions to prospective clients AND solving some of your own business problems at the same time.
Find Out What Motivates Your Customers
To deliver powerful solutions that will make life easier for members of your target market, you’ve got to know what challenges they face and what they are looking for. Take advantage of the conversations you have at business networking events to uncover what motivates your prospects and what their main issues are. After you do this, seize the opportunity to tailor your services to fulfill their needs.
It may seem overwhelming, but the benefits of going outside of your comfort zone to attend these events heavily outweigh the option of just staying at your desk and waiting for contacts to come to you. You never know…you may well find what you are looking for at your next event!