As a Start-up company, a key part of building our business from the bottom up has been networking. In the business world making connections is key to driving success. Aberdeen has an amazing business community with businesses working in a variety of different industries.
Here are Udrafters tips to Networking effectively:
The concept of a 60-second pitch or elevator pitch has been very popular over the past few years. It is a soundbite of the key aspects of your business and what you do in 60 seconds. We now live in a sound bite economy, due to the large stream of information our brains try to process daily, as humans we now have reduced attention spans and shorter memory functionality.
Often at events or meetings, there can be a time constraint around getting across what you want to and keeping those you are speaking to interested in what you do. Perfecting your 60-second pitch allows other professionals to hear about you and your business or job in a quick and concise manner.
Write down a few key sentences that really capture what you want others to know. Make sentence one an overview of your company. For example: “Udrafter is a subscription service where trusted businesses can post bite-size projects to be completed by skilled students on-demand”
Sentence two you should highlight your unique selling point. For example: “Udrafter dramatically reduces the cost and risks of graduate recruitment while increasing retention rates and the quality of hires.”
Sentence three is an opportunity to open up a wider conversation. This is a good time to discuss projects or companies you are working with. Both parties may have mutual connections which are good for building your network and starting a conversation. For example: “We have worked with a multitude of business such as; Melt, Viewport3, EBAR, Eserve, and HireTech.”
Obviously the conversation will be different every time and you do not necessarily have to stick to everything in your 60-second pitch but it is a good way to narrow down what you do and helps you to be clear and concise when explaining to a third party.
Another important part of networking is listening. It isn’t all about you. When speaking to people, it is important to actively listen to what they are saying and engage in conversation. Just like you, they also have a reason to be networking and showing them consideration is the basic courtesy that they deserve. Showing a key interest in what they are saying and asking follow up questions shows that you care about what they are saying. Building a business relationship works two ways. Each person/company has something to give and something to gain. Actively listen and you may discover the latter.
So you have been to an event. You have had so many engaging conversations with a variety of different people and you have gone back to the office with a stack of business cards. How many of us are guilty of putting these business cards in a drawer somewhere only to forget about them? The answer is too many.
If the whole point of networking is to expand your network and make new connections then some form of follow up needs to happen. For example, send a personal email saying how great it was to meet them and that you should grab a coffee at some point. If you are attending relevant events in the near future, invite them to join you. If someone was saying how they were looking for IT support and you are not an IT company don’t dismiss it, there are other ways you can follow up. If you have worked with a great IT company before, send them a recommendation and maybe by the time they need what you are offering they will remember you for giving them a new connection. This initial follow up will be the foundation of building a relationship with these new contacts.
For more information about what we do or to sign up to our app visit: www.udrafter.com