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Business Networking: Establishing Stronger Relationships

“Of course, there is a fine line between doing networking right by being a valuable member of a business community and asking for business,”...

“Of course, there is a fine line between doing networking right by being a valuable member of a business community and asking for business,” reports Susan Guillory of the Forbes magazine.

In the article, Guillory attempts to define the misconception in business networking. While some attend some of these seminars to acquire more business, contrary it is an opportunity to cement your relationships with other entrepreneurs with similar interests.

Besides acquiring business for yourself, you must also bring value to the table for other participates. Don’t be selfish, remember you are not alone. You exist because of others.

Forbes continued to say: “You need to know your audience and genuinely want to help them, not just rake in more revenue. I knew a few of the pain points of this business with regards to social media, so I was able to quickly offer free advice on how they could improve.

“That usually works one of two ways: They take your advice and “DIY” it, or they're so impressed with your vast knowledge that they hire you. My free advice got me the latter,” added Forbes.

By now you are wondering what forms the process of business networking. To answer that question, Susan Ward offers another question as a response.

“How does business networking work?” asked Ward in an article for The Balance Small Business. “Networking events or local business luncheons present you with opportunities to find others who are in similar circumstances as you work to grow your business.”
“They take your advice and “DIY” it, or they're so impressed with your vast knowledge that they hire you.” 
Interacting with other entrepreneurs reduces the world into a smaller circle, where similar interests are shared and shaped into bigger visions that could change the world.

Networking is about locating people who share similar interests, it's not a platform to showcase your selfish interests. If you have a self-centered agenda, it is advisable not to attend such events because you will be disappointed at the end of the day.

“These events are generally put together for the purpose of introducing new concepts and methods being used while providing a platform for local business people to meet and exchange ideas,” the Balance Small Business added.

To add to the networking topic, Nicky LaMarco proposes that you have a separate line dedicated specifically for business operations. 

Here, the author suggests that doing specific things matters. Don’t mix business with pleasure. By allocating a specific phone to a business, you can separate the two operations.

“Set up a business phone,” urged LaMarco in a writeup for CHRON. “Have a separate business phone line for your business. You can even record a warm greeting that asks people to leave their name and contact details when they can’t get you on the phone.”

Without trust, your business is exposed and made end up losing its reputation. If you have integrity, you can build trust and reputation, notes the Business Balls.

“Always keep your integrity. Sometimes a situation arises which tempts us to do the wrong thing, causing harm or upset that could have been avoided. Making such a mistake can damage personal integrity,” stated the Business Balls.

To maintain honor in business, always try to avoid scenarios that may harm your integrity. Always know your limits and work within the confines of the law, only that can you become an honesty professional.

The Business Balls added: “We are all human; mistakes happen. If you do make a mistake or wrong decision - whether it significantly undermines your integrity or not - always admit it and apologize.”

Having someone whom you know, understand, and have confidence in, makes you reach higher places in life. Consider inviting a friend in business to networking events, who can help you where you may be lacking.

“Bring a buddy,” urged April Maguire for the Business Know How. “Sometimes starting conversations with strangers is easier if you have a familiar face by your side. If you have a friend or coworker who’s also looking to expand their network, consider attending professional events as a twosome.”

In other words, there is safety in numbers and that also applies in business networking. Two can be a crowd, but when it comes to networking, numbers really matter, so don’t overlook the advantage of taking a close friend along to such important events.

“Just be sure you make an effort to connect with other attendees rather than sitting in the corner chatting the whole time,” said the Business Know How.

Socializing must not be your priority, but it must enable you to meet and engage with the right minds. Take it as a leeway to get the necessary links. Invest in meeting with the relevant people, besides your regular friends from your circle.

Enlarge your circles. Ask relevant questions. Tell interesting stories about them and yours as well. And most of all, remember their names, titles, and the kind of business they do.

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