So business networking, what’s it all about, and why should you go networking and go to any of the numerous well-run business networking events?
Well, I’ve been attending networking events for years and also I’ve run my own business networking events in Devon for many years and these are my top ten reasons why you should get out and go networking.
- increase profile
Who knows about you, what you are, who you represent, and what you stand for? If you regularly attend networking events far more people will get to know more about you, you will by default increase your profile, people will get to know you more and that has to be a good thing doesn’t it?
- deepen business connections
The thing with networking is the more people you meet the more you’ll get to widen and deepen those business connections, instead of being just a business card someone has collected, we’ve all got lots of these haven’t we? If you’re a regular networker you’ll make yourself something more, people will learn more about you and that makes it easier for anyone to refer future opportunities to you.
- increase your confidence
I have spoken to so many nervous networkers who are unsure as to whether they should attend events I run, they contact me for almost a pre-brief as to what happens and what’s expected of them. So what do I do, well I try and reassure them that it’ll be fine and we’ll support them, you have no need to be nervous. The one thing I know is that attending networking helps everyone I’ve met increase their confidence.
- develop you as a person
You never know who you will meet when you’re networking, I personally have met the widest variety of people you can possibly imagine, and therefore similar to point 3 you will improve as a person in more ways than you can imagine, things like your presentation skills, verbal skills, and sales skills will all benefit.
- learn more, increase your knowledge
At lots of networking events, you quite often have a speaker or someone giving some kind of talk about their business or specialty so you’re bound to learn more about them and their business which in turn, of course, helps you learn more.
- build your confidence
If this is your first event you’re bound to be nervous, it’s only natural. Make no doubt after you’ve been to 2 or 3 events you’ll be recognized and welcomed like a long last friend (at least you should be) and that will seriously help build your confidence.
- gain mentoring
People often overlook this, but I think it’s one of the most important. So say you attend a regular monthly event, you’ve got a question in one meeting I guarantee that next month you’ll be asked about the answers you were given, ‘how did that work out for you it’s mentoring where you are supported in the group and by the group. It can even be as straightforward as being asked how your month has been, highs lows, etc, this all rolls into supporting you and your confidence.
- get answers and help
I’ve seen this quite a few times when someone attends a networking event with a question or in need of help, the best way to think about this is it is like crowd sourcing an answer. I know that asking the audience may get a few different answers but you’ll get answers and the same goes for help, if you’ve built your profile and worked to deepen those connections then you’ll also find networking as a great environment to get help.
- develop new business relationships
In a similar way to point 2 where you develop new personal relationships, this is where you develop new business relationships, maybe meeting a new supplier or a business who is in need of what you’re offering or knows someone that needs your help — focus on the business and those relationships will develop.
- look at things in a different way
The great thing about meeting different people who work in and run different businesses is that we all look at things differently and given time you’ll being to see that as well.
Ten reasons why you need to go networking, hopefully, compelling enough for you to make that first attempt if you haven’t already and go networking. If you’re based in or near Devon then do check my business networking group out, you’d be most welcome to attend.