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Tips For Effective Business Networking in Aberdeen

28th Mar 2024 | Blog

It’s no secret that networking is a potent and well-known tool for businesses of all sizes. However, it’s the businesses and networkers who plan their approach that yield the best results.

In my experience, adopting the ‘before, during, after and ever after’ approach is crucial for driving results.

The ‘before’ involves preparing for event success, ‘during’ focuses on effective networking at the event, the ‘after’ stage is vital for initial follow-up and the ‘ever after’ is how you turn networking conversations into long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

To truly make your networking efforts fruitful and win tangible business from initial conversations, consider the following steps:

Firstly, ask yourself, what brings you to a networking event? Be very clear about why you are attending and what you hope to achieve. Whether it’s to speak with potential clients, introducers, suppliers or staff, or simply to spread the word about your business, clear goals enhance the likelihood of event success.

If possible, acquire the attendee list in advance. Identify individuals you specifically want to speak with and leverage any existing connections to broaden your network. Even if you have a list of people you’d like to speak with, remain open to spontaneous conversations. Valuable connections often arise unexpectedly and you only find out where a conversation might go once you start chatting.

The power of questioning cannot be overstated. The benefits of asking questions are twofold – when we show interest in others, it helps our relationships develop, and we find out lots of information and market intel. Of course, while sharing details about your business is essential, fostering two-way conversations is most effective.

The follow-up after the event is where some networkers fall short, often because they haven’t set aside time post-event. Dedicate a small amount of time in your schedule for follow-ups immediately after the event. Connecting on LinkedIn and sending a quick email doesn’t take long – and doing this solidifies the connection and extends the networking impact beyond the event.

But it doesn’t stop there. A successful conversation and initial online connections are only the beginning and it needs more to develop great relationships. Investing in additional in-person time post-event always helps relationships develop. The ‘follow-up coffee’ gives both parties the chance to chat for longer, deepen relationships and uncover more opportunities.