Small Business Networking – 7 Essential Factors of Generating Business Leads

Network is and always will be about building relationships. Too many people make the mistake of believing that it’s about only building business leads or selling products. While this is what drives us to improve our networking it shouldn’t be the only thing.

When done well, and done properly, networking brings together 7 core ingredients or factors that make your outreach more successful. This combination, with no factor being more important than another, will help you master the art of small business networking and as a results – you’ll generate more quality business leads. The important thing is to focus on the individual and the relationship – the rest will fall into play. Start by working on these 7 factors.

Personality

When you first approach someone to begin a networking relationship you need make sure that you will communicate effectively and openly – that means being authentic. Show that you’re enthusiastic and genuine while expressing real interest.

Body Language

Respect the personal space of the other person while standing tall and holding your position in a conversation. Make sure your body languages gives off the overall perception of being confident and assured. Don’t try too hard to appear confident because it’s equally important to appear relaxed – above all else you need to “look comfortable in your shoes”.

Interest

One of the ideal ways to show that you’re interested in what someone else has to say is to listen carefully and ask appropriate questions during the conversation. When you stay engaged it inspires a contact to keep talking. Genuine interest (or the impression of it) is a great way to foster business leads.

Focus

When conversation runs all over the place while talking to business leads, it’s hard to make the discussion memorable – especially when it’s just a bunch of small talk. Focus the conversation onto one interesting topic that a contact brought up. Expand on it and explore.

Connection

During the conversation you’ll likely come across topics of interest. Grab those because those a strong connection points. This flows back to the point of Focus. When you find a topic that resonates with both of you (or everyone in the conversation) use that to cement the relationship for a better chance at building good business leads

Visualization

It might sound like something out an alternative wellness book or self help guide but when you’re networking and trying to build relationships with business leads you should visualize a successful outcome. When you’re positive, there’s a better chance for a positive outcome and it shows in your body language.

Invitation

As you build on the relationship with business leads, don’t forget to follow up. You don’t have to offer an invitation immediately but be sure to follow up quickly with an offer for a meeting, coffee, etc. to hook up and talk shop – or simply to keep the personal conversations and interests flowing.