There is significant potential to increase revenue for your company when using a well-planned and enhanced business network. At the same time, many try to approach business networking without solid plans or clear objectives in place, often fail or end up disappointed.
Business networking is very important for businesses, especially for those that are working with a limited marketing budget. Studies have indicated that more than 80% of customers for standard online business networking often originates from referrals, or from word-of-mouth recommendations, as well as from business networks directly. Leveraging on existing customers can be resourceful as well as perfect for many sales strategies that are working with limited marketing budgets. Before we get into the main article it may be good for you to see ‘ONLE USA‘.
Step One: Make Sure You Know Why You Need Business Networking
The best way to determine your objective when it comes to networking is to use these tips, followed by ranking these motives from what is most important to you to least important.
Why Are You Networking:
- To earn contacts or customers, along with introducers for prospective customers?
- To deepen or strengthen your relationship with your existing clients?
- To gain support from external institutions such as a financial mentor or sponsor, or one of the trade unions?
- To pave the way for new opportunities to grow your career in a company?
- To improve and enhance public relations?
- To build a more effective sales team?
- To create a way to collect market intelligence within your industry for predicting the purchasing patterns of new or potential customers?
- To inspire your team and strengthen relations with your coworkers?
Step Two: Determine Key Performance Indicators
One of the important assumptions involved in successful business networking would be to assume that any person that you meet could be adding value or expertise to your company. More importantly, any contacts that you regard as interesting lead needs to be safely stored so you can use them in the future. The contact network estimate required is based on the “scope of work” for a networking assignment for your business. Find out more about your potential clients so that you can gain a better understanding of their buying behaviour. You can do this by following the type of content that these people post or even the type of business merchants that they are currently following online. You can also attend the events that your potential clients are planning to attend.
You can also systematically increase your introducers’ numbers by exploiting connections and contacts online. Build stronger relations and establish a rapport with your sales staff in your business organisation. You should have a goal of connecting with and targeting a minimum of 5 personnel. If one of the objectives of networking has to do with expanding market intelligence within your sector to make more accurate predictions on the purchasing behaviours of potential clients. Then you should be following a monthly action plan that will look something like this:
- Seek product and service feedback and reviews from 10 clients that buy your products regularly
- Ask for open suggestions from at least 10 customers that buy your products regularly, and ask if they have suggestions on how to improve service delivery of product quality
- Contact a minimum of 5 of your current suppliers
- Research any products that have just been released from 5 “potential” suppliers to gain an understanding of the competitive edge of the product and the demand
- Study your competitors to find out what method they use to price their merchandise, whether they offer discounts, the way they market their services and products. You should also find out how these competitors source customers.
Step Three: Determine Your Contacts
- Create a list containing your existing clients, to use as a source for customer referrals
- Create introducers lists to potential accountants, suppliers, employees, and non-executive directors
- Compile another list containing potential organisations or companies that you might be able to join for compiling lists of service or product feedback and to review data needed that the members would receive in these networking organisations.
- Compile a list of people and companies you are interested in developing networking relationships with. It is also a good idea to find out what event types they attend. You can then suggest any other events to them that may be of value to you and them.
This is a concise networking strategy that you can use to achieve many of your goals for your business.