Business Networking Mistakes to Avoid
Mistakes while networking can be costly. By following a few simple tips, you can avoid mistakes that many people commonly make and have better success with your networking activities.
As mentioned before, good listening skills are a critical part of your network activities.
It is not necessarily that we don’t hear what the other person is saying it is more not understanding what was said. Listening requires full attention and focus.
Listen for things like what the other person is trying to achieve and what is really important to them. Most of the time we misunderstand the person because we are thinking about what we want to say in response.
By developing better listening skills, you will find that your responses are actually better than when you plan your response in advance.
Not Asking the Right Questions
People who succeed in business are not simply lucky.
They have been able to develop the right business networking skills and know what questions to ask to get an understanding of what other people are looking for. They are good at forming a business network of other professionals with similar business who may have the same target market but who are not necessarily in competition with each other. A wedding planner may work with a photographer, a caterer and a florist, for example.
The key is to find out as much as possible about potential business partners so that you can refer clients to them and they may be more likely to refer clients to you.
There are ten common questions that can help you determine whether someone is a potentially good partner for your team.
- What got you started in your business? As an icebreaker, this question helps you learn what your potential partner’s motivation was for starting or continuing in a business.
- What makes your company different from the competition? This question should be answered quickly and in the form of bullet points so that you know why you should trust them with clients.
- What is it about your business that you enjoy? When you refer a client, you will be able to tell them what your partner likes about their business to give them a sense of security that they will do a good job for them.
- Can you give any advice to someone just starting out in your line of work? This helps build respect with your partner and build credibility.
- Can you tell me about any trends that may be growing in your industry? You want to associate with partners who are well aware of any trends in their industry. Even busy executives stay abreast of changing trends in their industry.
- What promotional strategies have worked best for you? Together, you can brainstorm ideas that have worked for each of you, exchanging ideas that may be new and unique.
- Is there anything about your industry that you might change? What about your business? This will allow you to provide advice to your partner and gain an understanding of the challenges they face on a daily basis.
- Do you have any big events coming up? If this event is one that will fit your business, you may be able to encourage the partner to send referrals to you as well.
- What do you see as your biggest challenge? The answer to this question could be a problem that you have the solution for.
- What type of customers do you look for? The more you know about the clients your partner likes to work with, the more likely you are to send those types of clients to them. In return, they will be able to send the clients you enjoy working with as a referral to you.
Time To Find Your Networking Group
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