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How To Stand Out From The Crowd During Business Networking

Updated on February 22, 2019
Elijah Tornaziba profile image

Elijah DeLaRoyce is a writer, designer and the Creative Directive of i50 Collections. You can connect with him on social media.

Networking in business is hardly ever fun, and doesn’t always produce the results we want.

So it might not comfort a lot people to know that one of the most important rules in business, it isn’t what you know but who you know. Connections matter in business, one simple recommendation can change your life and your business. Many great products and services stay away from public attention because of none existent advertising.

If people don’t know you exist, they will never know about what you have to offer, getting your name out is crucial in business, but with so many people trying to do it, how do you stand out from the rest, how do you keep attention focused on you and your brand, in an increasingly crowded market.

1. Identify those who actually need you.

You represent something different to different people, you have to know and acknowledge that.

Your business has a specific market, your product or service isn’t meant for everyone. Your travel agency is useless to people who don’t like to travel, a common mistake amongst young entrepreneurs is telling everybody about what they do and hoping it provides a huge return. Every time you network which should be regularly, take note of the fact that you are not the solution to everybody’s problem and your brand isn’t right for everyone.

The time you waste promoting yourself to everybody including people who will never need you, is time better spent focusing those who need your product or service. Think of those who believe what you have to offer is crucial to their everyday lives and are willing to pay for it.

2. Always Listen.

It is actually one of the best ways to know who needs you or your business.

Most people believe business networking is the best time to talk about how wonderful they are and how their brand will one day rival Amazon, but talking too much is a major turn off in business, you want to listen when you’re with people.

Why?

  • Because that’s one of the best ways to know who actually needs your product or services.
  • Because people really like talking about themselves, you set yourself apart when people know that when they’re with you they get to talk about themselves. ( you’re not the only who likes talking about themselves)
  • When you listen you get information that you need, networking isn’t just about promoting yourself, and you can also learn new things about your chosen industry.

In a crowded field, you need every advantage you can get.


3. Do your research

Laziness is a problem for anyone, diligence solves so many problems and saves entrepreneurs so much money, and you can’t do without it.

Try to know whose going to be at an event and as much about them as possible, know what to wear to impress them, know what to say to get their attention, know what turns them away, and know the questions to ask them.

The more research you do the better you are at coming up with a plan that actually works, business networking is about quality not quantity, most people you exchange cards with might not call you back, some might not even want a call from you, recognize that.

Research allows you to know who needs your product or service, you can ignore everybody else or keep your conversations with them as short as possible, you won’t have time to make an impression on everyone, you need to use the little time you have to make the right impression on the right people.

In some cases, quality research tells you an event will be a waste of time, I’ve been to an event like that before, I thought it was an opportunity to meet potential customers and partners, turned out the jerk who invited me, misrepresented what it was all about, so he could make some money of me, when he saw that he couldn’t, he pretty much lost interest in me.

4. Remember you’re dealing with real people with real problems.

Nobody exists to make you rich, the biggest problem with business networking, too many people trying to take advantage of each other, too many people lying to each other or misrepresenting their brand or themselves.

Everyone you meet isn’t your meal ticket, some of these people are going through divorces, just lost their jobs, or are under a lot of pressure at home and at work. They don’t need another person trying to take advantage of them and they don’t need another person who just sees them in terms of what they can get from them, stay focused on establishing quality relationships.

There are some good people out there, you might make friends with people that continue to be close to you even after you are no longer doing business with them, that jerk that lied to me, the last time I saw him he wasn’t exactly swimming in diamonds and he had forgotten my name.

Quality relationships matter, there are very few unique products and services around, people will continue to use your services even though you’re not the outright best if they have a great relationship with you on personal and professional level and they can trust you to deliver.

5. Be patient

Things will hardly ever work at your desired pace, you want quality contacts and business relationships, not people that will throw away your business card on their way home and delete your contact from their phones.

Quality usually takes time, throwing tantrums when things don’t go your way won’t endear you to anyone.

You need to understand that sometimes you will have to wait longer than you like, and patience will turn out to be your greatest asset.

It isn’t fun trying to build a business from scratch and it isn’t easy, the rejections aren’t easy to take, particularly when you know that people are mostly just scared of being the first people to do business with you.

But the right thing at the right time will always produce the right results, building a well know and recognizable brand takes time. Try not to lose faith in yourself and others because of how slow things are going.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Elijah DeLaRoyce

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