Turn A Handshake Into Business Success – By Jen Goode

by Jenae Reid on May 18, 2017

Networking is like making new friends, new friends that want to help you make money. Take the time to say hello, take an interest in what others are striving to do, and offer to help where your skills or products fit. These five simple steps will help guide you toward networking to grow your business.FeedFront issue 38 cover

Say hello and chat a bit

Of course, start by saying hello and shaking hands. Then stick around and chat, have a real conversation. Share what you do, what you’re about, how you think you might fit with the company you are talking to. Ask questions and listen to answers. That first hello is your opportunity to introduce who you really are.

Offer a stellar business card

Your business card is the number one most important item to have at any networking event. It’s a little piece of you and your business that you can leave behind. Your business card should look great and communicate who you are, what you have to offer, and how you can be reached. Add a bit of personality; a photo or some kind of visual cue as to who you are, so your card stands out from the stack.

Make friends

Shake hands with the goal of making new friends. You’re there to meet people and build business relationships. Good, solid relationships don’t happen overnight, let alone in five minutes. Don’t expect to just walk up and talk deals in the first two minutes of meeting someone. Instead, if you really click with someone, make a point to set up time to connect after the event, and spend more time getting to know what business opportunities might be ahead for both of you.

Follow-up with a thank you

Make sure to follow up in the first few weeks after an event, even if you don’t have a pending deal. This is your opportunity to start a relationship with someone in your business wheelhouse. Remember to say thank you, and if you enjoyed the conversation and appreciate their time, let them know. A little thank you goes a long way.

Check in once in awhile

Touch base every now and then to see how others are doing. Send a note at least once or twice a year, even if you don’t have an active project together. A quick hello is a great way to keep your name in front of potential business opportunities. Share what you’re up to and offer to help in areas you might be a fit.

Shaking hands and exchanging cards at an event is just the first step. Continue to grow the relationships you start. You never know where someone you’ve met will be in a year. If you aren’t a business fit today, you might be the perfect person for their next project.

Rule of thumb: people always prefer to do business with people they like first.

 

Jen Goode, owner of JGoode Designs, illustrator and creativity adventurer, blogging at 100Directions.com.

This article appeared in issue 38 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2017. https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-38

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