Networking for Business
Feature post by Colin Holbrow of The Holbrow Group. Colin is an executive and team leadership development coach with extensive experience in many sectors of our Canadian economy.
Whether you operate your own independent business or make a valuable contribution to a to a large enterprise; having a steady flow of business is critically important.
Networking is an essential tool to building and sustaining a business pipeline. Targeted networking helps identify, create and act upon business opportunities. At times, business can be slow and even uncertain. During these times, use this to your advantage by networking at conferences, meetings, or with current and previous clients.
When you recognize an opportunity to network make sure you complete your due diligence and prepare yourself for every scenario. Networking for business can lead to promising opportunities.
Watch this short, humorous video clip which illustrates how not to network. Then read on for some pointers that work.
Here are a few pointers:
- Do your homework. Know where your targeted audience spends its time and fully research each event before you attend.
- Make an impression. Dress appropriately for the occasion. When you meet someone make sure you cover the essentials such as smiling, making ongoing eye contact and open and close the conversation with a firm handshake.
- Plan your strategy. Look for (and if possible know something about) the individuals in the room. Approaching groups may be difficult to maneuver and intimidating. Isolating one person at a time can lead to a more in-depth personal conversation.
- Be an active listener. Listening actively leads to meaningful questions that link to how well you are listening to what is being said.
- Ask for referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask your existing clients if they are open to introducing you to others. Your clients will be more inclined to offer their help if you ask.
- Always be prepared. Have your “elevator pitch” practiced and ready to use when opportunities rise. The knack of informing people of what you do and what is important for to know about your work is fundamental to success.
- Follow-up with the individuals you meet within 2-3 days of the introduction.
Remember something important about each person. Remind them of where you met and why you found them to be of interest.
Colin Holbrow CPCC, PCC is an executive and team leadership development coach with extensive experience in many sectors of our economy. Colin received his coach training and certification with the acclaimed Coaches Training Institute and holds his professional coaching accreditation with the International Coach Federation. He was awarded the PRISM award for leadership excellence by the International Coach Federation at the international level in 2008. Colin and associates of The Holbrow Group coach individuals and teams to create alignment and operate from a common purpose, in service of sustaining a positive and productive work culture. The result is a highly engaged workforce who consistently delivers on organizational goals, together.
Source: The Holbrow Group