Sales and Marketing specialists AJG Direct understand the importance of business networking, but with alarming statistics indicating many of us are getting it wrong, they reveal the top faux pas to avoid.
Networking is vital to a growing business, developing new connections can help avoid common mistakes, open up opportunities through referral and make the sometimes lonely journey of entrepreneurship a little more manageable. Sales and marketing specialists AJG Direct were recently alarmed that so many entrepreneurs are making simple mistakes and sabotaging their networking potential.
AJG Direct reveal the top No’s of networking:
Lack of follow-up: Networking is a complete waste of time if new connections aren’t followed up upon, similarly to making sure you meet that personal trainer you set a plan of action with it’s the follow up that is vital for success. Many people head home after a networking event and jump straight back into work mode, take the time to set out a follow-up plan, perhaps a half-drafted email that can be tailored for each new connection to get the ball rolling.
Unclear unique selling proposition: Be clear on where the value of your company’s brand lies. Have a pre-scripted elevator pitch that highlights the issues that are solved by your brand. Each brand has a USP, be sure to share it with everyone in your network to maximise networking potential. A great success formula for communicating USP is “I work with target market to help them benefit.”
Confusing networking with face-to-face cold calling: Networking is not about volume, instead of a targeted, strategic way to explore new business options. Take time to ask compelling questions to identify how personal assistance can be offered to others at the event. Networking events are an opportunity to lay firm foundations for future business relationships.
Not responding quickly to referral partners: First impressions are vital for a long-lasting relationship. Be conscious on time scales of returning queries. Always reply within the day of receiving a question to boost credibility and professional reputation.
Abusing the relationship: When inviting networking partners to events, ensure that they can gain advantage from being there. By abusing the link, a negative association will be made with the personal brand, and future opportunities are likely to be removed. Always be open to any invite-only events, letting attendees in on the purpose and objectives of the game.
AJG Direct is committed to nurturing the young talent in their firm and will continue to run workshops surrounding fundamental business skills including networking.