Business professional networking, or simply professional networking, is a traditional networking and referral practice that is done over the Internet. It can be synonymous with social networking, only the end-product of the online networking procedure is business referrals.
How is it done?
Business professional networking takes different forms like online forums, online business groups, and online conferences. All networking strategies can be adapted for use over the Internet. However, since it is within a business perspective, introductions and presentations to acquire referrals should be kept formal, short, and specific.
Several strategies on establishing a successful network and amassing referrals exist online. All of these are successful in their own way. However, there is one single strategy that businessmen should consider when starting a networking relationship: Keep it short and simple.
Business owners and all other listeners in networking events, either on- or offline value their time. They are busybodies and every second they spend in an activity has to reap a big benefit for their business enterprise. It is for this reason that networking individuals should be specific and direct-to-the-point in their networking deals.
Set a time limit. Businessmen should set a limit of 10 to 60 seconds for their speeches in online teleconferencing or video conferencing networking events. More than 60 seconds is enough to disinterest listeners. For online groups and forums, businessmen should keep posts short?usually up to two lines long. A paragraph-length introduction would be skipped by potential readers.
Be specific. This rule applies to all modes of online networking. Business persons should simply state what their businesses or services do to help other people. The example, ?I am an eating disorder therapist? is a dull and partly vague statement as compared to ?I help people with anorexia nervosa recover from their disorder.? The latter specifically states the profession, the specialty, and can draw attention from interested individuals or professionals in the medical field.
Convince the audience. Businessmen can gain the confidence of their audience by simply being specific in their presentation. They could hand out short cases of their successful business ventures. They may enlist testimonials from satisfied clients in their presentations. All these can be included as long as the networking businessman adheres to the 60-second time limit.
The most effective way to raise conviction though, is by being knowledgeable in the business enterprise that one is in. Businessmen should be able to share their field's trends and events that are up-to-date with their prospects.
Building Long-Lasting Business Contacts for Long-Lasting Referrals
A relationship with another business entity or with other contact sources would not last long if it is not based on trust. Referral providers are reluctant to refer a client or a business partner if the business being referred to is not effective in its undertakings. Businessmen should prove the worthiness of their products or services to existing contacts to assure them that they are capable to meet other clients? or businesses? needs.
Business persons should also keep an open and constant communication with their contacts. A continuous relationship bridge gaps in the professional relationship, thus ensuring extended business partnerships and referrals.
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