Networking is something that has not only changed the way we communicate, but it has revolutionized the whole concept of business communications and is here to stay! If you want to keep your business in competition and even ahead of it, then you need to be smart in networking.
While there are many tools to help out all kinds of businesses to bring their A game in networking, networking etiquette is something that you just can’t do without. Why is networking etiquette such a crucial aspect of your business? Because networking is something that builds a proactive and effective way to reach out to masses in one single move and helps in building your brand and business credibility.
Networking can be easy for some and complicated for some, because of the inherent personality, but networking etiquette is something that everyone needs to integrate with their approach. Here are few things that will help you build this your network with etiquette that is bound to benefit you in various ways:
Research before adding
In a rush to increase the contacts, many people just focus on adding more people to their network. However, what really works and appears well grounded and ethical is adding contacts about whom you have researched well. This saves you of the time and effort dealing with contacts who are not at all interested in you and also helps you in building a network of like-minded people. The contacts also overwhelmed when they know that you have actually spent time trying to know them and they take interest in you.
Building new contacts is something that needs to be followed by the more careful approach. Whenever you make a new contact, ask them first what kind of follow up approach they would prefer-phone call, email, Skype, Instagram DM, Facebook messenger etc. Also, ask them about the convenient time for further interactions. This helps in two ways, first it helps in building solid relationships, secondly, it ensures that your follow-ups are not associated with wrath or negative emotions which is very important for further development.
Maintain a balanced tone
What most businesses forget while doing networking is that the end goal is developing contacts for business. It is for a professional purpose only and is different from your personal life. While it is important to give a personal touch to all your conversations, but you need to keep the professional goal and aspect too in the mind. It is better to establish a balanced tone for all the networking communications.
Keep your promises
Maintaining your tribe is a much more important and taxing task than building a new tribe. In the pursuit of increasing our network we make lots of promises to the contacts and at most of the times, we forget half of them. Not keeping our promises is something that falls back negatively on the reputation of the business. Keep a record of all the promises that you make to your contacts and fulfill them as soon as you get a chance.
Never forget to thank
Thanking others is an evergreen etiquette that never gets wrong. Always send thank you note to people who have done something for you, even if they have not been able to help you achieve your purpose. Being thankful not only reflects as a positive trait but also keeps you in the mind of people for related matters and builds your credibility.
Keeping your business card handy even online is something that can be used to create opportunities for your products and services. Send your business card with a welcome note to any random contact who has connected with you. Share your business card with influencers with an introductory note and a request to promote you. Share your business card when you request people to connect with you and you add you to their circles. This is a very professional way of increasing your network and letting people know how professional you are.
Sending personalized messages like greeting the contact with its name instead of saying a simple hello, sending wishes on birthdays, anniversaries, important festivals etc is a great way of telling the person that you care for them and they are connected with a reliable brand. It helps in building strong and lasting relationships.
Respond to queries
People ask questions when they are actually interested in what you have to offer. Responding to the queries is a very important measure of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction doesn’t happen only after a sale has been made, rather it is a process that begins as soon as the customer lands on your page or you build a new contact. Not responding to a query comes across as a rude behavior and it can also mean that you are losing a potential customer. Commenting back on social media posts is a part of this process.
Networking is a two-way process. If you expect something from a person, it is important that you give something. If you want a lipstick brand to endorse your travel-friendly makeup pouches, then you have to endorse and recommend their lipsticks too. Nothing comes for free! And a special thank you note with probably a free gift can also open doors for further leads. Win-win situation!
Keep it real
Keeping it real is not just a tactic to gain more contacts, but it is also an important networking etiquette. No one likes to be a part of a community with hidden aspects. Be real in your conversations, never use false expectations to rope in more people and never ever use photoshopped pictures. Taking real pictures and editing them is one thing and using photoshop is a different and fake thing altogether. Instead, take real pictures, edit them and be open about how you have edited them. Real side is bound to bring in more followers that pretentious side. Such tactics are also a great way to engage more readers and generate leads.
Be generous in expressing yourself and informing people about your business. Stay polite while interacting and never forget the professional aspect even when the contacts want to get personal. A balanced approach with an open mind and real projection is the key to effective networking etiquettes that will never go out of fashion.