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12 Ideas to Support Your Networking Success

When it comes to business networking, people often need to develop confidence with several key areas to maximise the return they want on their resource investment, in terms of time, money and expertise. Here are some of the most common needs:

·         Overcoming Shyness and Building Confidence:

Many individuals feel nervous or intimidated when approaching strangers or making new connections. Building confidence and developing strategies through positivity with resources like the BforB Referral Academy to ease anxiety could help you develop resilience.

·         Effective Communication

Clear and concise communication, active listening, and the ability to convey value propositions succinctly are crucial. People often seek help in honing these skills to make stronger connections. Championing the idea of: “We have two ears, but only one mouth: and we should use them accordingly” is how BforB members start to develop this skill.

·         Identifying the Right Network

Determining which events, groups, or platforms are most relevant to their industry or business goals can be challenging. Guidance in selecting the right venues and networks to join is important. BforB assesses all our venues against our custom-made venue matrix for suitability to ensure the best possible experience for our guests, members and partners alike, so you can focus on networking and avoid being distracted by things like inadequate venue parking or refreshments.

·         Crafting an Elevator Pitch:

A compelling and concise elevator pitch can make a significant impact. Many individuals need help in crafting and practicing their pitches to effectively introduce themselves and their businesses, the BforB ‘Soundbite’ form is available to anyone new or are nervous or are uncomfortable with this activity to support them in communicating their value to the forum on the day.

·         Follow-Up Strategies:

Networking carry’s on after the end of the initial meeting. Learning how to follow up effectively, maintain relationships, and provide value over time is a key skill that many requires potential assistance. The facilitated nature of a BforB forum encourages you to complete your follow ups – before you leave - so you can celebrate at the forum 2 weeks later after the actions complete.  

·         Leveraging Online Networks:

With the rise of digital networking platforms like LinkedIn, people often need help navigating these tools, optimizing their profiles, and engaging meaningfully online. It is said that you don’t need to be expert at everything in business…but its crucial to surround yourself with experts to navigate areas you are weaker on expertise: The sector exclusive nature of BforB forums means that each sector is represented by a single specialist to support each other with things like optimising an online presence to market yourself. 

·         Building Long-Term Relationships:

Moving beyond superficial connections to build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships requires strategic thinking and consistent effort. People often seek advice on how to nurture and grow these relationships over time. The recurring fortnightly forums BforB runs reduce the intensity whilst encouraging relationship development which isn’t feasible with a monthly meeting of guests’ model. The result is a higher calibre of referral order value which correlates to an increased strength of a relationship.   

·         Personal Branding:

Establishing a strong personal brand that reflects one's professional identity and values is essential. Assistance in defining and promoting a personal brand can enhance networking efforts. BforB maximises personal brand development through our sector exclusive policy, ensuring only one specialist represents their sector at each forum developing their personal branding to be THE locally recognised specialist.

·         Navigating Networking Events:

Strategies for making the most out of networking events, such as preparing beforehand, setting goals, and engaging effectively during the event, are common areas where people seek help and is covered in the First module of the BforB Referral Academy Training Programme to help people maximise their efforts and resource investment.

·         Cultural and Etiquette Considerations:

Understanding cultural differences and appropriate networking etiquette, especially in international or diverse settings, can be crucial. People often need guidance on how to navigate these nuances and is a core value of BforB that all Equals and Values are shared and respected, division is the antithesis of collaboration and not recognised at BforB forums.

·         Utilizing Technology and Tools:

There are many tools and apps designed to facilitate networking. Learning how to use these effectively can help individuals maximize their networking potential which as an innovative brand operating for 23 years, BforB embraces and constantly explores using technology to amplify results for attendees and improve its standing within the networking community.

·         Measuring Your Networking Success:

Determining the ROI of your networking efforts and identifying what works and what doesn’t can be a great start. People often seek advice on how to measure and evaluate their networking success. We only improve what we can measure, it is the role of each BforB forums Coordinator to track and monitor the commercial horsepower of each forum; thereby helping members to see where and when they can source support to constantly be drawing more value from the network by accessing the relevant array of tools and mechanisms to reach and exceed the levels of success they desire. 

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