Building a strong network can begin at places that we least expected. There are many people that you just meet and talk with casually not knowing what value they might add to your business.
So next time don’t let an opportunity to slip between your fingers; try the following tips;
Do more listening than talking:
If you meet someone for the first time, probably you will have no idea who they are, what they do and in what ways they can be of help to your business. If you shut up and listen, you will learn a lot from them. You might be interrupting a CEO of a very successful business while your business is struggling. But if you don’t give them time to speak this will not come to light. You will not be able to borrow a leaf from their success.
Interact with the locals:
Know people in your neighborhood. They may have certain connections that are very crucial to your business. It doesn’t matter whether you have a business that is already running or you want to establish a new business, by knowing your neighbors, you may one day stumble upon one of their connections that you could not have met on your own.
And having a strong connection with your neighbors will also give you the courage to ask them about their own connections. You need not to be in a kind of a cocoon, living on your own while there are a lot of people to interact with in your neighborhood.
The locals that you might be ignoring may be having some ideas that if they share with you can help boost your business. You may even be ignoring your potential clients.
This is closely related to interaction with the locals. The way you relate to your neighbors is very important. Before you can ask them for help or ask them about their connections you must ensure that you build trust with them.
Your neighbors will never offer to help you or introduce you to their connections if they don’t respect you, or if they fear that you might embarrass them.
Next time you meet someone, take the conversation seriously. You never know what might come out of it.
And when you invite your friend for coffee and fortunately he/she comes with another friend, try to know as much as possible about his/her friend rather than just concentrating on the two of you.
Many business deals and many business connections have been made during casual meetings. And the bonds usually last for so many years. This is because there are certain people who are not so keen on doing things the official way.
In casual meetings, people tend to open up and share their feelings and problems. These meetings provide a forum in which people can discus these problems and come up with solutions. It is unlike official meetings in which interactions are limited and there are rules to follow.
Making follow-ups after casual meetings is also very easy since it doesn’t require any formalities; you just make a phone call or send an e-mail without having a specific procedure or rule to follow.