The Secrets to Generating More Business from Business Networking Events

by WorkFromHome on January 19, 2012

It has often been said that business networking is one of the best ways to generate new business — not marketing departments, not advertising departments, not genius slogans or promotional events. A simple business networking event can help a company bring in all kinds of new business, from individual clients to supplier and affiliates internationally. But what is the secret to doing this? What must be done at each networking even in order to ensure that it isn’t merely a networking opportunity, but a sales-driving event?

Below are the best ways to turn a networking event into a sales opportunity using repetition, friendliness, diversity, and persistence.

Secret 1: Do lots of business networking

Perhaps the best way to ensure the success of business networking as a sales and promotional tool is simply to do lots of it. And by lots, what most experts mean is that your company’s employees should be doing approximately 20 hours per week of business networking events. That might sound like a lot, especially because many employees are already work 40 hour weeks and putting in overtime when the business requires it. But keep in mind that business networking is no longer what it used to be.

It used to be that business networking would require 20 hours spent at real world events, staged in a banquet hall or conference center somewhere outside the office. And that could be a strain on many employees who were already overloaded with work and still had to manage a family and a social circle. That is no longer the case, however, thanks in large part to the internet and advancements in video conferencing technology.

Employees should be encouraged to do 20 hours of business networking each week and to put in many of those hours online. Not only is this approach easier than attending offline events all weekend (or weeknight) long, but it opens up the possibility of networking with people much further away than traditional events — coast to coast, and continent to continent.

Secret 2: Go coast to coast, continent to continent

Furthering the discussion of online business networking is this: using the internet assures that you can network with people from coast to coast in the United States, as well as anyone in any country around the world. And it’s well-known that the key to long-term business success is expansion and international relevance. For this reason, engaging in a set number of international networking hours each week will ensure that your business is prepared to make the transition into one of regional, national, or global scope.

It’s often said that the key to success when expanding a business is knowing the territory that you’re expanding into. There is perhaps no better way to learn about a territory — its customers as well as its competition — than by networking ahead of time and allowing local professionals to fill you in on everything you need to know before you pull the trigger on your next move.

Secret 3: Participate in a diverse array of networking events

Many businesses will simply participate in networking events that are relevant to their businesses as it currently stands. But the key to networking is not just to promote your past and present corporate identity, but to work on crafting the future of your company. And this is why you must attend a diverse series of networking events: you want to get a grasp on your expansion plans as seen in the eyes of your future competition, customers, and employees.

Dont’ simply attend networking events that cater to traditional businesses. As a traditional business, your bottom line and your future are under assault from home businesses, internet businesses, and small business all around the world. Network with these people and learn how they can help you — and how you can help them. Understand that the future of your business depends on technology, and begin networking with professionals in the high-tech industry. And realize that social networking holds the key to global success; you’ll want to attend social media-focused networking events, too.

It might sound unconventional, but it’s actually quite successful for the business which is willing to take the risk. Engaging with people in different markets opens your business to future success in niches which otherwise would have provided no real value, consumers, or profits.

Get Networking!

Still, 20 hours per week is a lot. You’ve got no time to waste — so find an online or offline business networking event and begin telling your story to an all-new group of eager professionals.

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