The Secrets to Successful Networking

Starting your very own company is an incredibly exciting undertaking that is usually filled with ups and downs. There is no shortage of tips and advice that experts are happy to share with startups, but one that seems to be repeated over and over is the importance of networking. Networking is able to open new doors for companies, something that is even more important for new businesses struggling to get off the ground.

If you’re looking to improve your networking skills, but aren’t sure where you’re going wrong, then you’re going to want to take a look at these secrets to success in terms of networking.

Come Prepared with Business Cards

One of the most important things you’ll want to have with you at networking events is a business card. This is an extremely important part of the experience, as this is your calling card, your connection to this new contact.

There’s no need to rush out to a professional design company, or expensive print company; instead you can use the business card maker through Spark Adobe. With this tool, you’ll be able to design professional looking business cards for free that you can hand out at your next networking event. The cards are customizable as you can select the size you want, the image, branding, logo (your own or license-free images), pick a theme, add text, and more.

Keep in mind that when it comes to printing your business cards, it’s always better to print more than enough so that you don’t find yourself short at an important event. Not only will this card provide contact information, it also helps to set a professional image for you, your company, and your brand.

Treat All Contacts with Respect

When you hit up the various networking events there is a good chance you’ll be chatting with large amounts of people. Granted, some of these won’t exactly end up helping you with your start-up, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated with the same amount of respect and interest.

The saying “never burn bridges” rings true in the world of business. You never know when that person might be able to help you in the future, so treating people with respect from the start is important.

Take Advantage of an Opportunity to Learn About Them

Experts suggest using a 30% to 70% ratio when it comes to talking versus listening. What this means is that 30% of the conversation should be about you and your company, while the other 70% of the time should be spent asking questions and listening to what the other person has to say. The goal is to learn about others.

Always Follow Up

Here’s a mistake that even the most seasoned networkers can make, and that’s to skip the follow up. It’s extremely important to follow up with a “thank-you” or “it was great to meet you” when you’ve made a new connection. Make sure this follow up is sent within a couple of days of the initial meeting. A simple email will do the trick.

By using these tips you’ll be unlocking the secrets to successful networking.

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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