Building connections and relationships with people are critical because they can provide you with information and opportunities to help develop your career. For startup business owners, networking and connections are vital to boost your brand’s development and find potential partners and companies to work with, allowing you to kickstart your company.
Understandably, building a network and nurturing business relationships can be quite challenging. Still, it’s well worth the effort and time, and it isn’t impossible to do. This is why some people work with network referral groups to help grow their network and undergo training to make connections through “cold” contacts.
If you’re thinking of stepping up your networking game, keep reading. Below are some tips on connecting with cold contacts, building relationships with them and creating better career opportunities. Let’s get started!
1. Prioritize creating a strong relationship
When creating connections, you should know that there are two ways to approach this: you can either be transaction-driven or relationship-driven. When you’re networking with a transaction-driven approach, this means you’re only reaching out to people expecting that they’ll do something for you.
If you go for a relationship-driven approach, you’re building a relationship without any expectations. This means you’re making a connection that will guide you through your career or business growth journey by asking them for advice and staying in touch with them frequently, allowing you to build a stronger relationship with them over time.
Ideally, you want to focus on nurturing relationship-driven networking because these potential connections will only help people they know and trust.
2. Build connections with people you have things in common
When you’re looking for people to connect with, ensure that you look for people who share something in common with you, such as interests, job titles, industries, cities and more.
If you share something in common with someone, creating rapport won’t be too challenging and it increases the chances of that person to respond to your “cold” message.
3. Reach out through LinkedIn first and then follow through with an email
Thankfully, business-related social media sites, like LinkedIn, exist to help you connect with businesses and professionals seamlessly.
If you want to connect with someone, simply send an invitation to “Connect” on LinkedIn and add a note. You must leave a message when you connect with someone because it makes it feel more personal and genuine. If they don’t respond, follow through with an email.
4. Initiate healthy conversations with them and stay in touch
A great way to build your network is by asking the right questions to your connections and make them more personalised and thoughtful. For example, you can ask questions about their background, experience and career path. Asking industry-related questions, as well as for advice and recommendations, are also good starting points.
Try to connect a common culture to your questions to make it more personal. You can bring up a show that they might have watched or heard of and connect it to their career path, making the conversation flow smoothly.
Besides initiating conversations, make sure that you stay in touch with them even after you meet. Thank them for spending some time with you, set the next appointment and build your relationship from there.
When you’re networking, think of it as your other job to reach out to at least five people a day to help you build your network. If you think you’ll struggle with building your network, it’s best to work with a network referral group, like NRG networking, to help connect you with like-minded business owners that could support you and your businesses. By following these tips, you’ll eventually grow your network and develop your business with ease.
Are you looking for a network referral group to work with? Check out NRG Networking. We help entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups thrive through our monthly meetings and training. With that, you’ll be able to build connections, support each other, promote and refer one another to help each other grow. Enquire about our services today!