Here are some useful tips to ensure that you get the benefits that networking can offer: an increase of business driven from referrals, help and advice, and growing your contacts.
Prepare and get the results you seek
If there is something you want, or your business is working towards, tell people. You are not just talking to people in the room, but to the people they know as well. Also, be specific as this could jog someone’s memory as to someone they might know who’d be useful for you to contact.
Think about what questions you want to ask people, as their answers will give you an insight into who they know, and if relevant, how you can help.
Following on, don’t feel your business is unsuitable or dissimilar compared to other business members of Juice. You can see their occupation and job title, but you don’t necessarily know whom they know- their network of clients may be useful to you.
Always follow up. Take responsibility for initiating contact if someone has suggested they know someone within their network who’d be useful to you or likewise, if you feel your service would be useful to the person your talking to, or if you feel they’d be a useful contact to have somewhere down the line.
There are three simple steps you can take for an immediate follow up-
- Take notes about the people you meet
- Send a follow-up email within 24 hours
- Connect over social media
Doing these three steps after networking will make it less likely for opportunities to be left on the backburner, increasing the risk of the opportunity being forgotten about altogether. As well as meeting every Tuesday morning, we also have a LinkedIn group that all members are invited to join, and it is a great medium to continue discussions over. Various members also actively use and communicate over Twitter.
Remember; don’t feel that networking is ineffective because you don’t find business the first time you go. It takes time for the group to get to know you, and networking is about building relationships.
Whether you are a business owner (new or not), attend our weekly meeting as aguest, speak to the members and see how they have found Juice beneficial in terms of broadening connections, advice and support and the opportunities that have presented themselves. You can also read a case study of one of our members Tom Hesling, owner of Cotswold Housekeepers, and how his business has benefited from Juice Networking.