At some point, we all heard that talking with others is important. The famous words of, “Go out there and make some friends.” that came from our parents or caretakers. Though at face value it just seems an unneeded pain to go out there and talk, especially as kids. But the importance of making not only friends but connections still holds so much importance even today in our adult lives. But of course, since the universe is a cruel thing, this only got harder to do as we grew up. Now there is worrying about offending people, political differences, ideology conflicts, and more. But even though this can be a risky minefield of awkwardness, business connections are important for our day-to-day.
Let’s start by taking a look at some ways to get connections.
Be An Active Part Of The Community
This is one I talked about more than a few times in other blogs. But it is truly an important element to not only this topic but an entire swath of real estate topics. Knowing your community is important because it simply shows people that you exist. And it tells people that you are a trustworthy member, so naturally, if you bump into these people at events or other places they will feel more inclined to continue the conversation.
But since I talked about this in-depth in other blogs, I won’t beat the dead horse, but make sure to check out the linked blog above for more!
Help Them First, Not Yourself
When you meet someone for the first time when you are trying to form business connections make sure the relationship is a good one. You don’t want to ask for something from them right away as it can make the conversation seem one-sided. Zenbusiness also mentions this in its blog, “For best results, look for opportunities to help your networking contacts prosper in their own careers.” It is a great idea to try to help your connections first before you try to help yourself.
Think about it as if you were on the other side of the table so to speak. Would you like to keep the conversation going if for example you just met a classmate and they were asking you to do their homework for them? Would you do it?
To Get Those Business Connections, Stay Positive
Let's be honest, we try to distance ourselves from as much negativity as we can. There is to much going on to worry about the emotions of others and even if we want to help, most times it makes things worse. When you are trying to make connections don’t be negative, and as hard as that might be it's important. I learned that the hard way when I was graduating from community college and was going through a lot. I found that a lot of people who I was good friends with distanced themselves from me which was a great wakeup call. And shortly after I crawled out of the funk.
The same applies here but maybe on a lower level. If you were going to a networking event would you want to form business connections with the person brooding in the dark corner? If yes, I appreciate your kindness, but if no then that would be the most logical. The unspoken rule of networking events is that people go there to leave with something. Either that is connections or a new job opportunity.
Also, try not to negatively talk about your past jobs or employers. That may set a bad feeling for the conversation as well. Overall take a deep breath and try to keep the mood up!
Never go it alone. Sometimes brining a friend or a coworker can increase your chances of success. Maybe having another body there gives you comfort and you will have someone to back you up. When I started going to networking events I would always go with my brother, and in fact, the only reason I went was because he invited me. Though he is a pro at networking, he wanted me to experience it and learn how to talk to people, and having someone you know is defiantly a relief. Also, in conversation, if you run out of steam there is someone to pick up for you.
Find A Reason To Follow Up
If you made it to this point then you want to make sure you find a reason to follow up with your business connections. What was the point of going through the trouble if there is no reason to follow up? And most times a natural way to get a follow-up does not pop up, you have to weave it into the conversation. Maybe suggest picking the talk up over coffee or something similar. Most connections die on the first day since people do not find a way or a reason to follow up.
The Benefits Of Business Connections
Now that we talked about a few ways to get connections, why not go over some of the positives? There are quite a few of them but first off and quite simply is that your network grows. Which is what everyone wants. Also, another big point to note is that having a large network of business connections generally increases your referral base. Leading to more referrals overall.
Speaking of that, if you find yourself drowning in a newfound burst of referrals NuOp can be just what your looking for. Better yet, you can invite your network onto NuOp and exchange referrals and all the while growing your digital footprint, or SEO. Also, you will have access to a growing pool of high-quality referrals on the live feed. You can sign up today for free and get all of this and more!
Here are some other positives:
- Makes your professional profile stronger
- Grow your business, or your image and influence
- Tap into the knowledge of your new network. Advice! Learn how others succeeded and grow from it.
- Possible new job opportunities
- New long-lasting personal relationships
Business connections are an important part of all of our professional lives. Not looking for them or letting current connections go cold is a waste of valuable time. As you now see there are many benefits to growing your connections, and there are just as many ways to go about gaining them. But all in all a larger sphere of influence will lead to more referrals and more referrals mean more revenue for you.
Finally, make sure you sign up for NuOp if you have not already. It’s free and has a bunch of tools to help you with your connections.