plura Financial Blog

blog for plurafinancial.com, an online matchmaker between banks & small businesses

Five Tips for Successful Business Networking

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1. Love people. The most successful salesmen all have one thing in common: they genuinely love people. This innate love for people will translate to customers loving you back. And customers ultimately do business with people they like. In the blockbuster movie Gladiator, Proximo told Maximus before battle: “I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.” This is as true in the business world as it is on the battlefield.

2. Help others, without asking anything in return. The situation goes something like this: John and Sue meet at a networking event. John sells insurance, Sue is an accountant. Sue demonstrates genuine interest in what John is trying to sell and gives him multiple contacts without asking for anything in return. John closes a deal from one of those contacts and is forever indebted to Sue, feeding her a continuous flow of leads.

3. Never turn down a speaking opportunity. Public speaking helps create brand awareness and establishes you as a trusted industry expert.

4. Leverage technology. The conventional way of networking (lunches, golf outings, industry events, etc.) is effective, but inefficient. To scale your business efficiently, you must embrace technology. Create a facebook & twitter account, giving you & your business a ubiquitous voice in the marketplace. Create a nice looking website with valuable, informative content that people are looking for. For example, Sue the accountant knows that many prospective customers want to learn more about how to calculate EBITDA. She can write a blog entry on the subject, with the hope her blog pops up first when people type these words into Google. Once the user clicks on the link to Sue’s blog they become delighted to get the information they were looking for and will keep Sue top-of-mind when looking for a qualified accountant. CDW’s successful ad slogan is “the right technology, right away”. Leverage technology to give prospects the right information right away. A great example of this can be found here: http://bit.ly/t6FJ8w.

5. Be an interesting person. Too many people go an inch deep and a mile wide with conversations at networking events. Handshake, fake smile, pitch, fake smile, exchange business cards, repeat. Similar to the dating world, in the networking world you must have something interesting to say and you must be a genuinely interested listener to succeed. And don’t forget to follow-up for a second date!

For further information, contact Brandon Hinkle at bhinkle@plurafinancial.com. Brandon is the Co-Founder and CEO of www.plurafinancial.com, a free online matchmaker between banks and small businesses seeking debt financing.

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Written by entrabanker

February 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm

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