Planit Scotland

The Art of Business Networking

Networking 

/ˈnɛtwəːkɪŋ/

Verb

The action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

Synonyms

Socialising | Interacting | Schmoozing | Mingling | Rubbing shoulders

Is it just me or does networking sound a little bit like dating?

In business, networking is an act of building and maintaining positive relationships with clients, peers and industry experts. By building a strong network of contacts, you’ll be opening your business up to new opportunities, new insights and new partnerships.

Similarly, dating is also an act of building and maintaining positive relationships, opening yourself up to new opportunities, ways of thinking and of course, new partnerships.

At Plnit Scotland, we love networking and our team has an extensive list of contacts across PR and media, business, hospitality, travel, web services, logistics and so much more. Adding to this, Team Planit has also held membership at various networking groups including Highland Business Women, Chamber of Commerce and BNI Scotland North – so we certainly know what we’re talking about when it comes to all things networking.

Therefore, we’re here to help you schmooze your way into the contacts of industry experts, get socialising on the right platforms, and rub shoulders with the best in the biz. 

This is all you need to know about business dating networking!

Step one: Put yourself out there 

You won’t get anywhere by hiding in the office, crouching behind the till or pretending to be on a call – you’ve got to get yourself seen by all the right people, at all the right events. In other words, it’s time to get mingling!

Business networking typically occurs at industry events, whether that be a trade show, conference, seminar, awards ceremony or even a company dinner. With industry professionals and like-minded peers all under the one roof, this is a great opportunity to meet new people and make you and your business known.

Alternatively, much like in the dating universe, the online world can be a less daunting approach as you find your feet and build your network of contacts. 

The internet is a valuable resource for creating, cultivating and communicating with contacts. Using social media, online forums and business portals, you can connect with local professionals, reconnect with old friends and start conversations with people you’ve previously worked alongside.

LinkedIn is a social media platform connecting professionals, experts and enthusiasts of all industry types from around the world. And with 58 million companies and 810 million members listed on the site, it’s great for reconnecting with previous employers, business associates and friends – as well as networking with other individuals and organisations in your industry or region.

Plus, with a host of online webinars and panel discussions made available on LinkedIn, you can easily take part from the comfort of your home and build contacts along the way.

Step two: Show them what you’ve got to offer

When networking at an event, the last thing you want to do is sell yourself short – show them your confidence and tell them who you are and what you can do! In other words, create an attention-grabbing elevator pitch that helps get your attention.

Your pitch should aim to be no more than 30 seconds and it should include:

  • An introduction (Who you are and what you do?)
  • Your company’s mission (What your company does and its goals.)
  • The company’s value proposition (What is your company’s USP?)
  • An exciting hook (A fun story about the company.)
Step three: Don’t let them forget your name

Following up with contacts that you’ve met at an event can be a great way to show your eagerness to connect and build a professional relationship. It can also be a useful way to learn about other events and meet more people in your industry.

Building and maintaining a positive relationship with an industry peer can open up many opportunities to exchange business advice and insights, as well as providing new opportunities to support local businesses and organisations, building your reputation in the industry. Becoming a resource for others will encourage contacts to trust your expertise and view you as dependable.

Business networking is an important stage in building your business and here at Planit Scotland we can offer our support and guidance to help you take that first step.

Get in touch with our team today for more information and guidance on building your business network.

Happy networking!

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