In the business world, contacts are of great importance. It is even said that every business is a business of people, because - in fact - it is people who buy from us. Therefore, it is worth taking care of good connections. But what is most important while building the business network? There are numerous factors, but it is worth focusing on five essential ones.
1. Take part in industry events
In order to build your own business network you must visit places which are also attended by the representatives of the business environment you are interested in. Even though it seems obvious, in practice it often appears that it is not. During various events, such as trade fairs and conferences, you can meet many interesting people. Prior to such an event, it is worth taking a look at the list of companies or speakers as well as the meeting agenda. This way, you can assess whether you will have an opportunity to establish valuable contacts. You can also check who will take part in the event on Facebook or LinkedIn. It is also a mine of information on potential relations that can be established through the attendance in a specific event.
2. Take care of your profile in social media
The vast majority of people declare that when going to a meeting, they review the profile of their potential business partner/employee in social media. It is often that the profile’s content determines the context of the meeting, or the likelihood of its cancellation. Social media is our showcase. More and more often people do not exchange business cards during meetings but become contacts on LinkedIn or Facebook instead. This way we can make a better impression by revealing what we exactly do. It is also worth taking care of an appropriate profile photo. It should be clear, of high quality and present the person in a business outfit. It is important to remember that the materials we publish are of great importance. What counts the most is both their regularity and the content presented. The focus should be put on our business activity and above all, it should bring added value to the recipient. The more value we publish, the better personal brand we develop.
3. Get involved in the lives of others
After adding someone to LinkedIn or Facebook network, it's worth taking a few moments to get familiar with his/her profile. Pressing the "like" button under a profile photo, adding a short comment under a post or sharing your opinion are understood as good practices. Interestingly, only a small number of people "like" photos, not to mention adding comments, although such gestures are of utmost importance to the profile owners. What's more, it's worth spending a quarter of an hour regularly reviewing social media for potential business partners. Sooner or later, people will notice our commitment. They will feel appreciated and will reciprocate interaction. From there, it is not a long way to proposing a meeting or presenting a business offer.
4. Give something to others in order to get something back
We often forget how business contacts are actually established First and foremost, they are of long-term character. There is no use in assuming that attending only one networking meeting and getting to know a few people would be sufficient to sell one’s services or products. Building business networks requires lots of patience If we know someone who could help another person in his/her career development, let's "share" that contact. People remember those who contributed to the improvement of their situation and are much more likely to help such contributors in future. What is more, if we help several people, others will start to perceive us as someone who has number of contacts and is effective. As a result, they will be even more willing to do business with us, or it will be easier for us to sell our products and services to them.
5. Be sincerely interested in the other party
The aforementioned rules can help you considerably to increase the number of contacts, nevertheless, what attracts others most is the sincere interest. People will quickly sense whether assistance in business is offered selflessly or whether one expects something in return. They will notice equally quickly whether they are listened to sincerely or if the listener is focused on their own interest only. Our best possible recommendation is openness to helping others as well as full and sincere focus on the recipient. Probably, it will not translate into effects immediately, nevertheless, in the long term it constitutes one of the most important factors increasing not only the number of contacts, but above all, their quality and involvement in the development of our career and business.