A lot of people think business networking is all about ‘selling yourself’ or ‘working a room’, whereas, for our money, networking isn’t about that at all. It’s about relationship building and making yourself and your company attractive to people in a way they hadn’t realized before. It’s about developing your business, not cramming it down someone’s throat.
Business networking is the process of establishing a jointly valuable relationship with other business people and possible clients and/or customers. The purpose of business networking is to increase business revenue – one way or another. A business network is a type of social network whose reason for existing is business activity. The best business networking groups operate as exchanges of business information, ideas, and support. The Business Network is noted to be one of the most successful networking systems of its kind. It offers an opportunity to communicate, to learn and to share – not only in the logistics of running a profitable business, but also in the joys and pitfalls, successes and sorrows that inevitably go hand in hand with entrepreneurship.
The most important skill for effective business networking is listening; focusing on how you can help the person you are listening to rather than on how he or she can help you is the first step to establishing a jointly valuable relationship.
There are different types of business networking.
Online business networking:
Businesses are increasingly using business social networks as a means of growing their circle of business contacts and promoting themselves online. In general these networking tools allow professionals to build up their circle of business partners they trust.
Face to face business networking:
Many professionals tend to prefer face-to-face networking over online based networking because the potential for higher quality relationships are possible. Many individuals also prefer face-to-face because people tend to prefer actually knowing and meeting who they intend to do business with. Face to face business networking is often facilitated by referral networking clubs.
General business networking: