Networking Tips for Small Business Leaders

Excellent leadership is the most essential and valuable quality when running a small business. Without it, you’ll not be able to influence others in the planned rise of your small business. One of the primary attributes of reliable and smart leadership is to positively influence those around you with your networking skills. Whether you’re experienced in this domain or not, this article looks at the fundamentals of communication in a business environment. Often, these situations involve negotiation, and you’ll have to find the balance between delicacy and a harder approach to get the best deal for your company.

Case-by-case negotiation

Meeting New Clients and Contacts Through Networking

Some people find a strategy that suits them, and they stick to it. While this can be helpful for confidence-building and uniformity, the inflexibility this entails can often lead to missed opportunities. For business leaders with emotional intelligence and an ability to read social cues quickly, a case-by-case negotiation strategy is far more preferable.

Take a look through this guide provided by Hiscox, describing the various modes of communication with different business personality types. Hiscox’s business experts list the following traits that exist in the different types of businessperson you’re likely to encounter:

  •  Dominant, assertive individuals who communicate decisively
  •  Cooperative and receptive individuals who can sweet-talk themselves into influential positions
  •  Dependable and compliant individuals you can trust and rely on
  •  Patient and meticulous planners with analytical minds

By separating people into these four categories, it’s far easier to draw up communicative strategies to appeal to their soft sides and to win the best possible deal for you and, more importantly, your business.

Openness, approachability, and initiative

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Many people find themselves networking at explicit networking events. Places where business leaders gather, such as conferences, are excellent places to make contacts and to share information and knowledge. However, these aren’t the only places you’ll be able to start a conversation that can lead you to new, valuable contacts. You might consider the following locations:

  •  Your own office building, if you share office space
  •  The hotel bar or restaurant during a business trip
  •  Workshops and tutorial sessions for businesspeople
  •  Courses and classes at university or college that cater for businesspeople
  •  Cafes or bars in central business hotspots

You might be a little nervous to approach people in such locations, but the least you can do is to be approachable yourself, and to look out for other business people who might appreciate a conversation. In the majority of instances, you’ll be able to strike up a conversation with ease, especially seeing as you have business topics in common.

Finally, ensure that you’re always carrying smart-looking business cards on your person to distribute to contacts you make as you journey through the world. If you’re confident and self-assured, take the initiative to approach people yourself in order to draw them into your circle and share know how that will be of eventual value to your company’s operations.

Networking is important for small businesses. Build your network and strengthen your skills by following the tips above.

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