Business development strategies and tactics have changed with the passage of time, now, more so because of the dramatic effects of COVID-19. Physical presence has now become obsolete. However, successful business development under the present circumstances is contingent upon building trusted relationships over the past and leveraging those client relationships to meet new prospects. Therefore, having said, that a robust business network is imperative, the next question arises as to HOW TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS NETWORK? We propose some ways to answer this query:-
1. Participate in Industry webinars and events – In order to stay relevant and make your presence felt, you must participate in industry meetings and webinars. This will not only give you a chance to broadcast your services but will also help in nurturing relationships with colleagues, meeting new people and therefore expanding your network. You may further maximise the impact of attending such webinars and virtual meetings by attempting to create a one-on-one meeting with prospective clients.
2. Leverage the power of social media – Doing so will keep you connected, informed and future ready. Growing your business network by using social media platforms such as Linkedln, Twitter or other online networking communities can be a feasible option. However, one must learn and fully understand the working system of this medium before attempting to use it for benefits of one’s business.
3. Blogging – They say, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’, and rightly so. Owing to our present circumstances and progressive skills, writing online has become not only the latest craze but also a necessity. Creating a personal blog on your company website is a great way for your clients to get to know your company’s services , products and business philosophy. Blogs allow commentary and enable interaction which helps in forging new relationships and growing your business networks.
4. Seek and use referrals and testimonials – Your customers are your most important critiques or advocates. Your existing clients if happy with your products/services will certainly give written testimonials stating the value and worth of the same. This can prove to be a great achievement for you as you may use it as an advertising tool and allure more clients. Furthermore, your clients may know colleagues like themselves who may require your products or services. This again will help in expanding your business network.
5. Be human first and then a business person – More often than not, we tend to move aside ‘networking’ as that ‘other’ activity we will get to when we are done with the ‘more important’ activities at hand. This however, is our biggest mistake!! Being gregarious is an inherent human quality – we are born with it. We were ‘designed’ to stay connected and that is the way it should be for everyone to proceed and progress – for entrepreneurs too. Creating a Holiday card or e-card mailing list and connecting with clients on their special days on a more humane level will only strengthen the bond that you share with your clients. Personal interests are often the best ways we make the strongest human connections.
Networks are the key to unlocking professional success. So go ahead and build bonds of beauty and benefit for life!