Networking Tips For Business Owners

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As a business owner, you have to juggle many tasks. Aside from running your daily operation, keeping financial records, and guiding your employees, you also need to find time to build business partnerships to help your business grow. 

Networking is a critical part of running a business, and no matter how occupied you are, you need to find time to connect with fellow entrepreneurs, generate business leads, and open new opportunities. Many findings back up the many benefits of networking. 

According to FitSmallBusiness, 85% of jobs are filled through professional and personal networking, and as a business owner, you are 24% more likely to gain new customers through in-person networking as opposed to online.

Sometimes, you can lose potential customers or miss out on the latest industry trends if you don’t attend a networking event or trade show. As a home inspector, you should use every opportunity to stay in the know and spread the word about your business. 

How to influence people

Making the right impression and influencing people is a skill. It takes time and effort to learn and you also need to understand that different people require different approaches. Regardless of different backgrounds and personalities, there are some simple techniques that you can use to win a favorable attitude from your clients and business partners.

Techniques to handle people

  • Always stay calm 
  • Find out what a person wants 
  • Be clear about your intentions 
  • Establish a rapport with a person
  • Treat everyone with respect
  • Show empathy 

How to make people like you

Many people think likeability is a trait that can’t be acquired, but it’s completely wrong. While some characteristics of likable people have to do with their personality, others can be learned by observing others.

Likable people tend to be good communicators. They always listen to others and show respect even if they don’t necessarily agree. An engaging person is ready to admit their weaknesses and shortcomings, and accept feedback and advice from others. 

When networking, some people think that you should appear as if you know everything. However, it’s not true. Nobody likes know-it-alls, and if you act like you have an answer ready, people could perceive you as a conceited person. 

Become a leader

If you want to get better at networking, you need to become a better leader. Being a good leader involves more than just establishing your business and hiring employees. For example, one of the top traits of a good leader is empathy, according to Ottawa University

Showing respect and being genuine will help you to establish good relationships with your subordinates and clients. They will see you as more approachable and will likely want to come back to do business with you in the future. 

Good leaders are also eager to hear various opinions and continue their education. They can handle failure with grace and keep their team motivated when things get tough. 

Expand social circle

Growing your social circle is imperative for moving your business forward. Attend networking events, stay active on social media and forums related to your niche to find out what topics people are interested in. 

Get informed

As a leader, you should always stay up to date on relevant topics. If you want to grow your business, you should strive to learn everything you can about your niche and beyond. Good leaders are well-versed in many issues and are willing to provide their expertise when others need it. 

Look for opportunities

Successful business leaders don’t wait for opportunities to come knocking on their doors. They go out of their way to look for them. Many of these opportunities can be developed by simple networking and relationship management, and effective leaders recognize that. 

If you run a home inspection business, simply going to a tradeshow or establishing a rapport with a real estate agent can lead to many new leads. Never underestimate the power of networking. 

Create strong connections

To create strong connections with people, you need to show that you are willing and able to listen to their concerns and offer value. The purpose of networking is to make new connections, learn recent trends and get a leg-up in your industry. When you meet other people through networking, they want to know how you can help them too. 

Always strive to build relations that can benefit all parties, not just you. 

Increase confidence and raise your profile

Increasing confidence in yourself and being open-minded helps connect with people. But as a business owner, it’s not always easy to distinguish yourself from the pool of similar enterprises. Creating a distinct profile is not as difficult as it might seem, and you can achieve it by following some simple steps. 

Create a marketing plan 

Creating a marketing plan is essential for establishing your business. Since many people check businesses online before making a decision, having a clean website and professional social media is essential to communicate your business. Maintaining your online presence is a great way to distinguish yourself, generate new leads and connect with other entrepreneurs. 

Attend events 

While maintaining an online presence is important in today’s digital world, face-to-face interactions still play a big role in building interpersonal relationships. Not every event or trade show will net you a new client, but it could lead you to people who might open new opportunities for you down the road. 

Always take advantage whenever you have a chance to interact with people in your industry. 

What is ROR (return on relationship)?

Author and marketing strategist Red Tubin who developed the concept of return on relationship (ROR), defines it as “the value accrued by a person or brand as a result of nurturing relationships with consumers. That value accumulates over time through the online currencies of sharing, loyalty, recommendations, and more.”

According to Tubin, ROR is the value you accrue by fostering a relationship with customers, whereas ROI is a measure of dollars and cents. ROR is the worth of each customer that will accumulate over time through effective social-media engagements. 

For example, as a business owner, you can respond to questions and comments that your clients post online or provide your expertise in online forums. You can also provide referrals and recommendations for your customers if they need to do additional inspections like radon or mold remediation. Doing so will make you more trustworthy and professional, and your clients will likely recommend you to their friends and family. 

How to maintain relationships

Once you establish relationships with your clients and business partners, maintaining them is important. Always make sure to keep in touch with those people who refer business to you and find time to reach out to those from whom you haven’t heard for a while. 

Customer retention

As a home inspector, there are many ways you can retain your customers. Keep in touch with your existing customers through marketing initiatives like emails and social media, and offer more value by providing additional services that other home inspectors might not offer.

ISN is an excellent software that helps to keep your customers organized and offers a variety of features like email campaigns to eliminate a lot of extra work.

You can always benefit from continuing education to get certified in things like mold or radon mitigation.

Partner loyalty

As a business owner, you should foster relationships with your customers and business partners. This is critical because if you lose touch with your customers, they are likely to move on to other businesses, and your business partners are likely to forget about you.

Networking is an exciting way to generate new business and build connections. You should use every opportunity to build relationships in your industry and get new leads. While online platforms are increasingly popular for generating business, never underestimate the power of face-to-face networking. Attending industry events and talking to people face-to-face is still the best way to make connections and find new opportunities.