Search in Videos, Members, Events, Audio Files, Photos and Blogs Search
Tom Clark

Tom Clark|United States

My Blog

<1  303132  69>

The Importance Of Business Networking For Professional Development

May 20, 2019

     (0 Rating)

Networking is considered valuable to 80 percent of global professionals, accordingly to a LinkedIn survey. The survey also found that 70 percent of those people found a job where they had a connection. 

But finding work is only one favorable aspect of business networking. 

Keep reading to find out more and why you should be doing it.

What is Business Networking?

Business networking is all about getting out there and meeting people who may be able to help your business grow and succeed.

Some of these people may end up being buying your products or using your services, while others may just teach you valuable information or help you connect with someone else.

Where Do People Meet to Network?

Networking events can take place anywhere. Such as, in a meeting room at a hotel, a restaurant, an individual member's business, the local library, or even on a cruise. Look for a group that meets somewhere that suits your needs.

If you are already involved in a networking group and need help setting up for your meetings, check out this useful page to make sure the attendees can find your group once they arrive.

What are Some Benefits of Networking?

The purpose of networking is multi-pronged and it provides many benefits. 

Although you can and should work on networking on social media, do not forget the value of face-to-face meetings and interactions. 

Unlike making a new connection online, when you meet someone for the first time in person, there is immediately a lot more going on. You both can see each other, read each other's body language, and pick up on all the subtleties of being in another person's physical presence. All those little things that help us connect.

Make New Relationships

Attending networking events is about than just trying to meet new clients or customers. Think of it more as a relationship building exercise. 

Consider how you made friends back in school. On the first day, you were likely introduced to all the other kids in the class. Some were strangers, others weren't.

By the end of the term, some of those strangers likely became friends or people you considered an acquaintance - no longer a stranger.

In business networking, the same will be true. Getting out there and attending monthly networking events, you will turn strangers into acquaintances or friends. Those you already knew, you will likely know even better. 

While some of these new acquaintances and friends may not become your customer or client, they may know someone who is interested in your product or services. The same is true in reverse for them.

So talk to people and find your connections. Share yours with them and they will likely share theirs with you.

Keep Up-to-Date in Your Field

Most professional networking groups will invite guest speakers to talk about relevant topics in the group's field at their meetings. Over time, this will keep you abreast on what's happening in your field and what your peers are doing.

Before, during and after the meetings will provide you with time to meet with other people interested in the same field as you. Take that time to discuss successes and frustrations in your business with others, so you can all grow.

Learn New Things

Everyone has their own unique expertise and interests.

Take the time to connect with other people at your networking events and discover theirs.

You will learn something new and perhaps expand on your own interests and connections. 

Stay in Touch with Your Connections

To increase the value of your networking efforts, make a plan for how you will stay in touch with these new connections. 

When you make a connection, you can also ask that person their favorite way to communicate. For instance, do they prefer to meet for coffee, talk on the phone, or go play golf?

No matter how you decide to stay connected, follow up to make sure you do. Put it on your calendar if you have to. 

You and your connections will evolve over time, meeting new people or changing jobs. You never know who you will meet tomorrow that could help one of your connections. Just like the person you met today may go to work for your dream client in six months. 

Make sure the connection is still there so you can help each other. That's one of the great things about having relationships.

Improve Your Business Networking Today

Whether you are already involved in business networking or just starting out, take some time today to consider your next steps.

If you are just starting out, check out the Chamber of Commerce or your local professional organizations and find out when their next meeting is taking place, then plan to attend.

If you have been networking already, do some tending on your network branches. Are there people you haven't kept up with or is someone in your network looking for help? If so, reach out today.

For more options, check our calendar of upcoming events.