Want to make your business networking more effective?

Networking is about planting relationships, not just collecting contacts.’

When you run your own consulting business- you are your boss, setting your own goals and working independently. But to be successful, you can’t do it all on your own, especially developing a strong network. Cultivating key relationships with prospects and non-competing clients help your business to flourish. My professional experience as an international business coach for over two decades has helped me understand the importance of cultivating a strong network. Here I have curated these three key takeaways on the benefits of reaching out to new contacts.

1. Benefits Of Networking: To understand the benefits of networking, the first task is to re-think how you approach networking. Working around people from your industry or even observing them can spark innovation, collaboration, and creativity. Networking isn’t just about having a lot of contacts personally or on social media platforms; it’s an essential practice to partake in throughout your consulting career and one of the first foundation steps before starting your venture. Otherwise, by the time you’re ready to start your business, it may be too late to build up and create a network that you can rely on.

2. Power Of Open Network Channels: Good networks are the ones that are open, diverse, and deep. The people in your network do not necessarily all have mutual connections. The more open your network is, the more innovative, adaptive, and influential it will be. Connecting with people who have diverse backgrounds, different interests, different levels of expertise, and different geographic locations—allows you to form relationships across a wider variety of sectors. You feel confident that you can rely on them for honesty, guidance, and help when needed.

3. Your Approach: By focusing on what you can contribute, you can develop true and deeper connections you can count on rather than occasional contacts restricted to as and when needed. When you are reaching out to someone new for the first time, do your research and find some mutual point of connection to make your introduction more personable. Be flexible in your approach and make your connectors feel comfortable conversing by reaching out on their preferred medium. Prepare for the conversation beforehand, set concrete goals for the session, and let them know your differentiating qualities, beginning with your first message itself.

Remember, you are a valuable professional. Networking is a part of staying motivated to expand your horizons into building a strong system of supportive individuals who will be there for you as your business grows and evolves.

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