Importance of Networking in Business

“To be successful, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be satisfied with your personality to be able to do business with you and to build a relationship with mutual trust”. – George Ross

The quote sums up why businesses cannot survive without networking and interactions. Networking in business is all about making connections and mutually beneficial relationships within the industry a company operates in and outside of it. It is how people ‘hear’ of your company and its offerings – the more awareness spreads the better it is for your company. When people of a company attend networking events, they are the face of the company and the demeanour of these people that will decide whether the ‘right’ people would want to interact with you and do business with your company in the future. These events get you connected to people of influence and allow your company and its products to become ‘known’. There is a business truism – who knows you becomes more important than who you know.

Many successful people and companies openly owe their success to networking in business. It has got them customers, better market talent and opened up avenues of business that they did not even know existed. Existing customers and other target audience are constantly surrounded by communication from other sources and in so many forms. There is so much happening, so many choices and a plethora of companies to do business. Through networking in business a company can start and build on personal relationships with customers, influencers and prospective customers – these relationships allows your company to stand out from the melee and remain in the forefront. The relationships formed through networking in business act as catalyst towards gaining customers. Since people get to know your company a lot better, there is enhanced feeling of liking and trust – two very important components of a business-customer relationship. Networking in business gains for a company, invaluable resources that could help it to succeed and the company itself could serve as a bridge between customers and another company. It is all about mutual benefits and common goals.

The best part about networking in business is probably the fact that, all the leaders / representatives of a company need to do is attend such events. There is normally no fee or charge attached to such programs. The benefits are huge – companies get to meet like-minded individuals representing companies with goals similar to their own. There is so much to learn and gain by networking in business. Even if a business partnership does not immediately emerge, the company’s representative can at least strike up interest and engaging conversations that will serve to create a lasting first impression that has a high recall value. It is very likely that a ‘person’ your company’s representative met at a networking event eventually becomes your best and most loyal customer or business partner.

The informal and laid-back atmosphere of such events ensures that people are relaxed, making it easier for them to discuss common topics and ‘argue’ over things that are not so relatable. It is highly plausible that during the course of such ‘discussions’ both parties get new ideas to expand their business, create new opportunities, seek out a completely unknown customer base or even start a completely new line of business. All these ideas translate to more profits, more customers and a chance to gain even more and better contacts. Networking in business is not just about meeting the one time and forgetting – it is about staying connected with the people one met during the event. A personal note thanking them for the invaluable advice and suggestions while at the event would go a long way to ensure that you and your company remain fresh in their memory. They would most certainly remember you should they or their associates require products and services offered by your company.

The thought process of some top people of companies is that they are too busy to be networking in business and that such events do not contribute towards enhancing business and gaining customers. This is a huge mistake and could prove extremely costly for a company especially if the networking event is attended by its competitors – all the great ideas and contacts will be theirs. Research has shown that contacts and customers gained through such networking remain with and add value to a company for a long time. Even if there is no immediate and apparent gain, just being able to meet other great minds in the business and influencers in the market space is extremely beneficial.

Networking in business is about gaining from the very premise of a business – no one can exist in isolation. The business market is a community – albeit one, where the members are in competition with each other but the learning and ideas that are generated by interacting with them are invaluable. Networking in business is especially beneficial for small businesses and start-ups – this activity is possibly one of the most productive, enduring and competent method to create, build and sustain relationships within the business community and customers. Even if the persons you interact with may not require the offerings of your company, through networking they could serve as referees and provide you with the contact details of some big company who could potentially become a customer. Networking is a great way to get solid and trustworthy business leads and since you would approach the referred company based on a recommendation, they would be more amenable to giving your business a chance to ‘demonstrate’ its capability.

Networking in business opens a sea of opportunities – possibilities of joint ventures, partnerships, content building, buying of assets, leads for other business and many more such highly beneficial opportunities. In addition, since these would be informal chats, a company would not be obliged to commit anything immediately. They could take the ideas back to their company and only post discussions and ascertaining viability, would a decision be made. It is obvious that not all ideas and opportunities are worth exploring and hence it would be prudent to weigh all the options before forming any partnerships.

At networking events, inevitably there would be some industry greats who would be called upon to speak to those attending the event and give them invaluable business advice and insights. Such ‘wise words’ are not something that companies come by daily or regularly and it would behove them to harness the power of such advice to further the cause of their company. People who are viewed as successful and as market leaders have become so given their sheer hard work and expertise gained over years of experience. It is impossible not to gain from the experience of such individuals and those that miss such events, also lose out some real ‘pearls of business wisdom’.

Networking in business raises the visibility of your company and makes it more noticeable. The publicity that comes because of attending such events can be a great boost to the fortunes of a company. For small businesses and new companies, such networking can boost their confidence and help them to learn how to ‘conduct’ themselves better in the competitive business environment. By regularly networking, it allows companies to constantly ‘talk’ about their offerings, educate others and eventually get them engaged enough to want to do business with the company.

The very nature of running a company is through inter-dependence and maintaining cordial relationships even with competitors. To succeed it is vital that a company gains new connections, attracts a large and profitable customer base and can lend its expertise to others. Networking in business is as essential as any other business strategy – ignoring it would be costly and detrimental.

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