The do’s and don’ts of networking

Posted on Sep 20 2012 - 1:03pm by Peter Millikin

Networking is important no matter what your business is. Regardless of whether you own an office supplies company or sell exclusively online, networking can help build your business and increase your sales.

However, many business owners go about networking in the wrong way. Here are three things you should avoid to achieve successful networking.

Connection with a person

No one likes pushy salespeople. When you are networking, it is important to remember that what you are actually doing is forming relationships with other people. You will not form a relationship with the other person if all you are doing is trying to sell something to them.

Instead, listen to what they are saying. If they are having a problem in their own business, offer a solution, even if it does not include your products. If they are facing a situation that could be helped by your products, then you are free to bring it up. Otherwise, remember to focus on forming connections first. There will be time to promote your business later on.

Overselling your product

This is a common mistake of salespeople worldwide and is directly related to the first mistake. Do not stride into a room bragging about the great deal on office supplies your business offers. Do not attempt to sell to every person you meet. Try to put yourself in their shoes. You don’t like people to try to push their products every time they see you, so don’t fall into this practice yourself.

Forgetting the follow up

Not following up is the worst mistake any networker can make. Once you have made a connection with a person and formed a relationship, you must follow up if you want anything to come out of it. A quick phone call or email will suffice, but it is essential that you do not skip this step. Do not say you don’t have the time. If you don’t have time for follow up, then you don’t have time to run your business.

Networking is important, but if not done properly it can hurt you more than it will help you. Avoid these three major mistakes and you will find that networking helps increase sales in the long run.

Read about the Author

Peter has received many accreditation's including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) and What Stationers (2007) Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment.

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