Businesses of every size rely on loyal, returning customers and clients, along with the ability to attract fresh eyes towards their brand. Building-up relationships is all part of a growing company, and often, you’ll find that strong business relationships will create more opportunities to elevate your brand, regularly. Therefore, networking and ensuring that business relationships are maintained, should be a priority for your company. There are plenty of ways to meet new people, in the right environments, and boost your business by displaying it to your current, and a fresh, audience. So, if you feel like you may need a little assistance in boosting your networking success, it’s time to plan how to improve things.
However big or small your team might be, or even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, it’s worth sitting down and deciding on your best plan of attack. There are a variety of things you can do, and something to suit every budget, so don’t put it off any longer. Creating a positive buzz around your business will ensure that people remember your brand in a great way, and they’re more likely to return. However, you’ll also need to do all you can to stick in people’s minds so that you remain at the top of their list of where to invest. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for business owners who are ready to push their networking success to the next level, by boosting their self-belief, to help their company grow.
Don’t Be Fearful Of Events And Trade Shows
Heading to any sort of event, especially if it’s your first, can be pretty daunting. And, don’t worry; nerves are completely normal, it just means that you care, which is always a positive. However, your success will lie in learning how to hone all that nervous energy, and fuel your proactive actions towards your networking, and being seen. Therefore, if you have booked a space or booth within a trade show, it’s crucial that your investment doesn’t go to waste, and you make the most of every minute you spend there, and every cm you have to utilise. It’s worth doing some research into trade show booth designs so that you can better understand how to make a positive impact with your branding, and use of imagery.
There’s also layout to consider; you don’t want to be off-putting, but you’ll still want to stand-out, so the balance you strike will be important, and affect your flow of foot traffic. Keeping your business name clear, and quick ways to find you, like your social handles, website, and phone number, are great ways to ensure that you stick in people’s minds. Make sure that you have plenty to say about who you are, and why you're there so that those who approach you leave feeling excited about your business. Be as friendly as possible, without being overbearing; it’s vital to gauge how much someone wants to discuss things, so it might be worth practicing your social skills a little beforehand. You must have business cards at the ready at all times so that people will leave with a way to contact you.
You could also consider having some promotional items printed with your branding; useful items like keyrings and pens, will always come in handy, and potential customers, clients, and suppliers, will remind themselves of your brand, every time they use them. Adding some tempting treats to your stand, like cupcakes, sweets, or refreshments, will always go down well, so try to put plenty of effort in, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Give Yourself A Confidence Boost
It doesn’t matter if you’re standing in your booth at a trade show, speaking at an event about your business, or simply mingling with the right crowd; if you don’t have confidence, it’ll be a waste of time and effort. Therefore, it’s time to ensure that you have plenty of pep in your step, and speaking to both new and familiar faces, is a breeze, even when you’re feeling those nerves on the inside. It’s no secret that practise makes perfect. You can start by making an effort to speak more in day-to-day life in general. Next time you’re at the tills; strike up a conversation with the cashier. If you do run a team of people; make sure that regular meetings are a part of your business. Always stand-up and work on projecting your voice and personality each time so that you grab and hold people’s attention.
There’s no rocket science to public speaking, other than plenty of practise, and ensuring you’ve preapred what to say and how you’re going to say it. Presentations can be daunting, so, even if you’re alone in your office; keep running through your presentation out loud. It can often become like muscle memory, and the information will come out clearly. Once you get into the swing of your speech or description, you’ll grow in confidence. Remember to keep a balance of light-heartedness and concise points regarding your business and what you need to get across. There’s nothing more relaxing than a smile or laugh from your audience, so ensuring that it’s not all corporate-information overload, and you’ve peppered in some relatable jokes and humour, will keep the mood lifted.
When it comes to mingling, and working a room; make sure that eye-contact, a firm handshake, and a friendly face, are what you provide people at all times. Everyone is there to promote themselves and their business, so remember to engage by asking a variety of questions. People will appreciate the interest you’re showing, so keep the conversation positive and don’t make it all about business. You’ll build a better relationship with those who you get to know on a more personal level, so ask about family, life, and hobbies too. And, it sounds obvious, but, remember to listen carefully; this will allow you to respond appropriately, and you can continue the conversation next time you recognise and speak to a new contact again.