Valley Business Networkers, a local business networking group is holding a membership mixer to help local business owners learn about VBN and to consider joining as a member.
We meet every Wednesday from 7:30-9:00 AM for education and business-to-business networking opportunities. Home-based businesses are welcome.
The mixer is a casual meeting to get to know members and VBN. Light snacks will be served. Please RSVP to [email protected]
10 Tips for Successful Business Networking
by Stephanie Speisman, Feb 28, 2018
Want to make your business networking more effective? Here are 10 networking tips to keep in mind.
Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.
- Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.
- Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
- Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.
- Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.
- Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
- Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.
- Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others.
- Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.
- Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow.
- Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.
This education moment was presented by Julia Cummings of Crafted 4 You. Julia can be reached at (520) 365-7000 or [email protected]
5 Reasons You Should Have a Business Card
By Hank Andrade, O’Reilly Chevrolet Collision Center in Green Valley
Here are five reasons why the old school business card is still important and why you should have a pocket full of them at all times.
1.) Swapping contact information digitally is impersonal.
Networking is about making genuine connections. Sending contact information via text or email on the spot is convenient but it is also extremely impersonal. Engaging in eye contact and actual conversation is how real relationships begin.
2.) They are the most effective direct marketing tools.
Email marketing, search engine optimization, and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t effective as an in person meeting sealed with a handshake along with a business card exchange.
3.) A business card is the first impression of your brand.
When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, don’t you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression? A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.
4.) Creative business cards get shared—continuing to market for you.
A business card is a physical object that a potential prospect leaves the encounter with. Your brand stays with them.
5.) Business cards show you are prepared.
If you met two individuals and one was scrambling to find a pen and something to write on and the other person simply pulled out a business card. Who would you want to do business with?? Having business cards on you at all times shows how prepared you. It is a great indicator that you are a professional. Fear not conversations will still end with, “let me give me you my business card.”
So the next time you go to a networking event, be prepared with your business cards!