A problem common to small businesses is marketing. How do you market your business to an audience of potential customers? Common marketing strategies involve word-or-mouth, referrals, yellow pages directories, TV, radio, networking, etc. Today, I will talk with you about some essential skills that will help you connect with other potential partnerships and customers.
Some may ask, why should I network? Networking allows you to create and maintain relationships. It also shows the world what you offer and how it can make life easier for others. If this is your first time, do not worry. As you continue to network, it will become like second nature.
When networking there are certain things that are necessary, such as business cards, a pen, paper, and of course appropriate business attire. Do a little research on your event. Who is hosting the event? What does their business offer? In addition, how can you connect with them to promote your business?
STAND OUT (of course in a good way)
Do not try to blend in with the crowd. You can try a brightly colored tie, unique necklace, or a distinctly colored tie. It makes for a good conversation piece. Do not try to overdo it. Remember, there is a balance to everything.
BE IN THE PRESENT
When you are in the present, you are able to be more engaging, less nervous, and clear in mind. This makes you a better listener and a more effective communicator. When you are in the present, you are then able to register keywords as potential opportunities for networking with a partner or customer.
When you ask questions, you do two main things. First, you show that person that you are interested in what they are taking about. This will leave a good impression with the speaker. Secondly, also equally important, you learn. You learn about their business, their personality, and other interesting things that can help you to connect with that person.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR BUSINESS
Highlighting you business is directly connected to the first step in that when you come prepared you remember certain keywords that will help you to make the most out of your time. People will only remember certain things about you. Keep it SHORT and SWEET. You can tweak the following example to help you introduce yourself to others.
“Hi, my name is Jane Doe of JD, Inc. We are a capture and proposal management company. We help small businesses grow by winning government contracts. JD, Inc. is currently located in the DC and Los Angeles metro area.
PARTICIPATE IN GROUP DISCUSSION
Saying one smart thing can make a memorable and good impression on the group members. Remember, when you network, YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. Always make a good and lasting impression.
About the Author: Priscilla Walker is the president and CEO of Your Dependable VA, Inc., a virtual assistance company. Your Dependable VA provides professional administrative and social media marketing assistance to small businesses. We offer business support so that business owners can free up their time and energy to focus on running their company without getting burned out.