When it comes to business development, you have to network!
Everyone has their own ideas about what networking is or how one should use it to their advantage to help with business development. It can make networking sound complicated. But it's very simple. Networking is simply socializing with people from a professional standpoint; getting to know people and what they do or specialize in. If you made a good impression, one day that person may need help with something you specialize in, thus prompting people to call or at least think of you. They can also introduce you to other individuals who can assist you with a variety of things.
A supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest: Young adults in the community use networking to help themselves find new jobs more effectively.
How can networking help with business development? You can network in the community or workplace to help yourself find new business, clients, deals etc. There are many ways to network within surrounding communities. You have to get involved by attending business expos, participating in community events, or joining a chamber of commerce.
Attend a Business Expo
A business expo is a simple, affordable, and sure way to give your organization exposure in front of hundreds of people and other businesses. Networking at an expo is extremely effective, especially when you are doing B2B. This is because you have an opportunity to speak directly to representatives of other organizations and build initial rapport. Eventually, the new contacts you've made may be able to direct you to whom you will need to speak to in their organization, thus getting you closer to closing a deal or beginning a new partnership.
Participate in Community Events
Make sure your organization has a presence in the community. You never know who will attend these events. The human resources or benefits director of another organization may attend because he/she supports her/his community. What does this matter to you? People will become more familiar with your organization. Plus, you can initiate contact with these individuals to see who’s who and how to get in contact with the right people.
Join a Chamber of Commerce
A chamber of commerce is a local association established to promote and protect the interests of the business community in a particular place. A chamber of commerce can be found in almost every town, city, or community. Find ones that support your business' surrounding communities and become a member of all of them. Becoming a member is a sure way to be informed of all community events, business expos, and luncheons.
There are many other ways to network for business development purposes. However, I strongly recommend that you use the three ways listed above in addition to whatever else you do. The more networking, the more new business possibilities!
What are your thoughts?
What other ways can you network for business development?
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Photo Credit: carloszardoya, Flickr