SCORE Small Business Blog

Marketing: Networking Tips
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Here are nine networking tips to help you build relationships and your business.

1. First Meeting: Introducing Yourself and your Business
“Elevator” speech which includes name, name of the business, type of business and unique features that benefit the customer/client.

2. Successful Networking
The most commonly asked question is: “What do you do?”
The answer has to be concise and compelling. Have a 20-45 second explanation prepared. Be enthusiastic and make sure to match your remarks to the audience, group or market you serve. You should inspire interest and actively ‘recruit’ a new customer or client.

3. Build Relationships
Identify those who can refer business to you and treat them well: Invite them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, invitations to events and social occaisions; theater, sports tickets, etc. Remember birthdays and anniversaries, give gifts.

4. Using and Exchanging Business Card
What do you do with those cards?
• Always carry at least 10 business cards
• Make notes on those you receive about the person you met, their company, the products that they sell, family names, etc.
• Make an appointment to meet if you want to get to know them better.
• Send a note after the meeting to follow up, or make the follow up call!

5. Identify Potential Clients
Identify other customers you can do business with. Look for other markets that you can serve. Always think beyond the obvious.

6.Loyal Customers and Repeat Business are Essential
How do you ‘keep them coming back’?
Your customers need to trust you! You are partners with them and help them and you are always helping them. Develop and build loyalty with your customers! Maintain your relationships and continue to build trust over time. “Always Exceed Customer’s Expectations!”

7. Business Success
In our competitive economy, with business getting tougher and tougher
You have to be the best! High-performing, positive and creative employees are essential. You and your people must take the initiative and always think of ways to successfully grow and expand your business.

8. Your Business Image
The quality, content and ‘personality’ of your message in the media you create strongly affects how your customers perceive you and your business. That includes business cards, brochures, the look of your office, your overall appearance and the way you present yourself in verbal and non-verbal communications.

9. Finally: Networking and Building the Business
Know, always: meeting ONE person can often lead to meeting others who will be contacts, resources, clients/customers and friends. This kind of perpetual and persistent networking helps you build the bases for a successful business and a strong network which will be built up over time.

Good Luck! And, share what networking strategies work best for you.

Julie BranderBusiness Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business.
www.scorenewhaven.com | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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