Everybody knows that networking is a vital part of the modern business world. They say that who you know is often more important than what you know, and networking is the subtle art of growing that list of people you can say you know, and, just as importantly, who know you. You want people to leave that business convention or expo with your name in their head – or at least on a printed leaflet in their bag! This means that when you need to call up to ask for a favour, you aren’t asking as a stranger. So without further ado, here are our top tips for great business networking in the 21st century.
Business cards
You might think the days of business card printing have passed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is true that in today’s world it is vital to have a great digital presence: a nice, mobile-accessible website, an email address people can reach you on quickly, and a good social media presence. Yet we all know that the World Wide Web can be a bit of a jungle, and it can be hard to get your website into the hands of those you most want to see it! Well, with a great designed and printed business card you can literally hand it to them, in a physical and tangible form which will prompt them to take action and check out your website.
Checkout one of our previous blog post for help: Top Tips For Designing A Great Business Card

Recommendations and resourcefulness
When you embark on your networking endevour and start making connections remember to make recommendations about others as well rather than just yourself as this will highlight how you a strong resource within the group. Because people will want to get to know you in hope of you recommending their company and they will also turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.

Clear understanding of you
Before you start talking away about your business think about, what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your product and service special or different from others in the same field. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others.

What are your wants?
Before entering a networking event I would suggest that you think about your business as a whole and think of what products and services you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.

Follow up
Carry out your calls of action quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. Why? Because when people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. To ensure that you continue to receive referrals respect and honor your promises and your referrals will continue to grow. Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.

Staying in touch
Making a connection is only half the battle. The next step is to stay in touch so your business relationships will grow and remain fresh. One great and low effort way to do this is by sending personalised invitations with branded envelopes. Envelope printing is another great way of distinguishing your businesses communication from that of others, leading to greater familiarity with you and your brand, and a more solid and comfortable relationship.
If you want to put these top tips into practice, give Print UK a call today or check out our catalogue of great design and printing with design templates online for easy editing.
See how you can turn your next business conference into a real business opportunity!