How to Build Stronger Business Relationships

Networking is important for entrepreneurs and attending conferences, meetings and different events can help them expand their horizon and build valuable relationships with other entrepreneurs, investors, even clients. But attending the event just for the sake of being present is not enough for establishing good business relationships. Entrepreneurs must understand that the only networking that works is the active networking. Standing in the corner and barely communicating with the other attendees will not help your startup. It is essential to approach different people and to create memorable conversations. Your goal is not just to meet the people, but to establish relationships with them. So, here you can find some useful networking tips, which will help you network like a pro, and make the most from every event that you attend.

Master the small talk

Entrepreneurs must work on their communication skills in order to master the art of small talk. Why is small talk important? It is great ice breaker, gives the opportunity to discover potential mutual conversational topics, and opens chances to discover similar interests between the speakers, which can set the foundations of strong future business relationship. Master the small talk by preparing and practicing some opening questions, which can help you start the conversation. Improve your listening skills as well, because conversations are mutual activities – you need to speak, but to listen as well. Make sure that you keep the conversation fresh, but also in a professional level.

Don’t limit yourself

Good networkers are open-minded people who don’t limit themselves with specific group of attendants. It is not healthy for your business contact list to network only with people that you think you may like. It is essential to be flexible while searching for business connections and to try to connect actively with more people, without limiting yourself with prejudice thoughts.

Take notes

It is difficult to follow up with all the people you meet in big networking events, but is very important to do so. The best way to become more confident in remembering your contacts is to keep an organize list. Take notes after every conversation and mention not just the name and the company of the person but what was your conversation about, what promises you both made and how did you decide to follow up. Taking notes is very useful approach for entrepreneurs and it is essential for the future of your business relationships.

Give reason for follow up

It is essential for entrepreneurs to follow up with the people they meet at networking events in order to build strong relationships. But why not to take the networking to a whole new level, by giving your conversational partner a reason to follow up with you? Make sure that you have something special and interesting to offer or discuss with the people that you need to follow up with. Give them something exciting and promising, which they would like to discuss afterwards. It is very useful approach for establishing memorable business relationships from networking events.

Be confident, not pushy

The key to successful business relationships is to stay true to yourself. Honesty is very important when establishing new contacts. It is good that you are confident, but never allow yourself to be pushy. Nobody likes to work with pushy people. No one owes you anything and you can’t allow yourself to ask favors or something else from people you have just met. Even if you know that someone can help you, asking for help at the first moment you meet this person can push them away. Networking is important to establish new business relationships, not to take advantage from people.

─ August 14, 2015