Networking describes establishing and maintaining relationships by building contacts for mutually beneficial, professional goals. It can happen sporadically, through chance encounters or organised meetings with concrete planning. Everyone within a network should benefit from the shared connections. Individuals can benefit from mutual referrals of orders, recommendations, joint projects or even acquisition actions.Networking is an extensive network of people. Networks can lead to an improvement in the professional situation. Access contacts from a wide range of professional groups and positions to help achieve your business goals.
Why is networking so important?
An array of entrepreneurs and freelancers, in particular, constitute a large portion of their order volume to networks. Therefore, networking is an indispensable part of customer acquisition. Networking also regularly increases career opportunities for employees. Communicating between stakeholders in a problem-oriented and project-related way is less complicated within networks. Particularly in long term business relationships, where a basis of trust has built over time. These relationships trump anonymous references and faceless testimonials. Conversely, networking offers new players the opportunity to raise their profile, at least regionally, without a large advertising budget or the need to recruit initial clients/business partners.
How does networking work?A person, an interest group or a company is the starting point of networking. Then comes the publicity measures (brochures, social media, newspaper advertisements, etc..) The interested parties gather together usually at a recurring time to exchange interests, often accompanied by a meal or other joint activities. Ideally, referrals create a momentum of their own, after which new networkers join. More and more business relationships crystallise. However, networking can also be established completely spontaneously at appropriate occasions where people with similar interests come together and communicate.
What should you look out for when networking?
By its very nature, spontaneous networking does not allow for any preparation. Here, it's essentially communicating one's self, activity and motivation for networking credibly and authentically. Ideally, brief information like business cards and brochures are at hand in such a situation.
Targeted networking promises to be all the more successful, the more prepared you are. The first rule is to present your business portfolio in a very concise and memorable way. At many networking events, the speaker only has 45 to 60 seconds to leave a lasting impression. At the same time, one should - if possible - have basic knowledge about the people attending and their activities. Proactive communication with the other participants increases the chance of successful networking. Carrying sufficient business cards is obligatory.