Business Networks – Your most important Investment?

Do you belong to those who mostly go on mingles and network meetings when you happen to have time left?

Networking can be a more cost-effective investment in your marketing and sales than you think. By taking an active grip on your networking you create the conditions for more business – this is how it works.

When it comes along with planning at work, it can be tempting to delete things from the calendar that don’t feel absolutely necessary. Many times it is when network meetings, mingles and other social events are given priority.

But is it really the right priority to do? How important is your business network really, and what does it give back in comparison to other sales work?

Networking is perhaps the world’s most effective, but least consciously used, marketing technique. Almost everyone knows how important it is to create good relationships and get references through contacts.

However, few have a working method that prioritises and develops this effectively.

By seeing networking as a strategic part of your sales and marketing work, you can create more, profitable business relationships – this is how you can think.

Your contact network contains a large number of potential customers and people who can become your ambassadors by recommending you to others. If you take advantage of this opportunity, you gain a great competitive advantage.

Studies show that business networks are crucial to success in new markets. This applies not least to expansion, to reach new customers and to see new business opportunities.

The more a company relies on networks and contacts, the better success at, for example, internationalization, research shows.

Combining entrepreneurship with a solid business network gives the best result for the internationalization of small and medium-sized companies, he says at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research.

You should therefore include your business network in your growth strategy, and have an active plan to attend relevant events with relevant participants. You should also have a clear goal of what you want to bring home from there – and what you can contribute to whom.

Take advantage of your digital networks

If you do not want or have the opportunity to participate physically in different network contexts, or want to supplement your physical meetings, digital networks are excellent forums for business relationships. For example, LinkedIn was created to enable online business networking.

Take advantage of your network on LinkedIn by:

  • Call for relevant contacts for your plans and needs
  • Ask others to certify your skills and introduce you to common contacts
  • Visit the profiles of interesting people so that they see that you have visited them – and then visit you
  • Join interest groups for your professional role and tell us what you need and can contribute
  • LinkedIn groups are very useful for networking purposes. The groups function much like meeting places where you create relationships and remind a lot of mingle meetings.

There you can reach outside your existing network, she tips on

– If the rule of thumb is that you only add people you have met, your reach will be very limited. One tip is to set criteria for which group of people you want to reach in the future. Then it will also be easier to accept yes or no to new contact requests. A good benchmark is that you have at least 500-600 contacts

3 tips for conscious business networking

Network early and often

Don’t wait for the “right time” to network. Attend various industry meetings, meet business organizations and then evaluate in which contexts you see the greatest opportunities. Make a wise choice and give these networks an honest chance.

Don’t be afraid to connect with your competitors

Your competitors live in the same world as you and face the same challenges. Dare to encourage and share your competitors’ success – and let them motivate you. Healthy competition often has a spurious effect.

Join the right groups on LinkedIn

There are many groups of different kinds on LinkedIn. It is important to find a few groups that are relevant to your own business and actively participate in them. Regularly evaluate what they give. If they give nothing, move on to the next group.

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