Ask any successful entrepreneur what their secret to success is, and you’re most likely going to receive a mixture of answers. However, a consistent trend among those answers will be “you have to be good with people” or “you have to network well.” You can see them at play during business conventions and gatherings or other venues where the main point is to meet fellow entrepreneurs to do business with.
Being that running a business primarily involves working with people and finding people with the right skills, it stands to your benefit to know more people and connect to those people. Whether you’re looking for a business attorney to help you set up the legality of your establishment or you’re simply looking to find business partners, being able to network will help you find people who can help you. Let’s take a look at how you can be better at networking and socializing amongst business people.
Don’t Shy Away From Eye Contact
The first way you can grab someone’s attention is to make eye contact. Imagine yourself in a business convention, and you see a service or product that catches your attention. Their presenter will most likely look at you in the eyes to engage in conversation. Instead of waiting for people to look at you, initiate the conversation by making eye contact with someone. When you’re the one starting conversation, you come off as confident and in control of the situation, and people will feel more likely to listen to you.
Remember and Use Their Name
In the business industry, names are everything. Recalling someone’s name and their associated business is the bedrock of networking, so play an excellent example by remembering people’s names. You’ll find that they’re more receptive when you show that you remember them and what they represent.
Be a Great Listener
The mark of a good conversationalist isn’t just when you talk your way out of anything, but also the ability to listen intently and understand what the other person is saying. In the realm of business, being a great listener shows other people how much you value their input and opinions.
Being a good listener can also mean understanding the subtle hints that most entrepreneurs drop simply because they don’t want to come off as brash or too forward. If you’re not listening well, you might miss out on indirect cues that the other party is willing to do business with you.
Listen to Feedback
As you meet a lot of businesspeople regularly, they may give you unsolicited feedback about your business. Take their feedback and thank them for it, even if you don’t entirely agree. Every input has something you can glean from, especially if it’s of the negative sort. Take the time to mull over what made them feel that way, and you’ll figure out an area to improve on.
When you make a promise, always follow through. Don’t wait for them to remind you; set your own reminder and make it a point to keep in contact. If you don’t think you can deliver to your word, have the courage to tell them honestly. In fact, do your best to avoid making empty promises to avoid such unfortunate instances. You never want to be remembered as that business person who always makes promises but always comes up empty.
Adjust and Relate
As you make your way into the business world and develop your networking skills, you’ll find out that there are so many kinds of people out there. You might gravitate more to certain personalities and groups of people, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from those you don’t find familiar.
It’s often from these people that we learn new things and broaden our views on various subjects. Even if you find yourself face to face with someone whose personality is far from yours, as a great networker, adjust and learn more about them with genuine interest. However you perceive your experience, whether positive or negative, you’ll still walk away with a new perspective.
No business can survive by simply transacting with its customers or clients. Businesses flourish when there’s healthy competition, collaboration, and even cooperation. The market is a cycle of businesses working with each other and their customers. Of course, your business can only be a part of this amazing cycle if you go out there to network. Now, you know what to do; constantly practice it until you become efficient and productive at it.