Business people collaborate together in office. Double exposure effects

Like in any other aspect of life, relationships are everything in business. Establishing strong affinities with customers, suppliers, producers, partners, and other stakeholders helps your business establish its reputation and boost awareness. One way to establish these relationships is through business networking. 

A business’s ability to thrive in any domain heavily depends on the quality of its relationships. It’s true for both large and small enterprises. Having great products and services is important. But without strong networks, you limit your capacity to grow, invest, and innovate. If you want to grow as a business, you’ll need connections.

Business networking aims to form mutually beneficial relationships with other individuals and firms. You must know how to communicate and sell yourself to network effectively. The goal is to gain people’s trust to build genuine partnerships. It won’t be easy. However, it is possible if you have the right mindset.

Here’s a guide on the best practices in business networking you should know.

1. Make A Great First Impression

When it comes to business networking, first impressions matter. You will meet people at multiple events and even by chance in public. You never know when an opportunity to network with someone will present itself. Also, keep in mind that you may never get another chance. So, staying prepared by working on your elevator pitch, communicating well, making yourself approachable, maintaining eye contact, and dressing to impress at physical events would be best. Make every effort to make a good first impression.

2. Keep Your Word

Integrity is extremely important in building business relationships. You need to understand that your integrity level influences your business’s brand perception. People of integrity are good business partners because you can trust that they will do what they say. You can also trust that they won’t make promises they won’t be able to keep.

Deep and effective business relationships are built on trust. If a business or customer can’t trust you to deliver your promises, there’s a problem. If you cannot do what you say, all your efforts at networking could be fruitless. So, you need to make sure that you walk with integrity. Build a reputation for being someone with integrity. It could work in your favour since more people want to work with you.

3. Exchange Contact Details

When and if it is appropriate, you must exchange contact information with people you meet. E business cards are an excellent way to exchange contact info with new acquaintances. But it would be best to refrain from attending a conference to hand out a set quantity of business cards. That’s not an effective strategy for successful networking.   

Rather, your goal should be to exchange business cards with people with whom you’ve interacted positively. You can also give your card to someone with whom you share common interests or have future subjects to talk about. Remember that in business networking, quality is more important than quantity. Be focused on building a valuable network more than anything else.   

4. Treat People With Respect   

Realise that people want to be treated with respect. Individuals will undoubtedly return the. Respect who they are, their efforts, accomplishments, time, and views. You don’t say or do these things to be flattering. You do it because you genuinely respect them. Let your business networking strategy rest on showing respect to all.   

5. Listen   

Effective listening is a networking hack that some people overlook. People sometimes mistake being a good communicator for being an eloquent speaker. Now, while being a good speaker certainly helps you to communicate well, it doesn’t necessarily make you an effective communicator. Effective communicators are also excellent listeners.   

Many people have a lot to say. You may have a lot of things you want to say at any given time. But you must note that effective communication isn’t about dominating the conversation. It’s about engaging with the other person in reciprocity. You must show genuine interest in what the other person says. When someone senses that you’re engaged in what they’re saying, it gives a sense that you care.   

People love to be listened to. You should take this to your advantage and polish up your listening skills. People will be more receptive to your requests or even your general kindness if they perceive you as trustworthy. So, whenever you have a networking opportunity, don’t shove your words, knowledge, or opinions down other people’s throats. But listen to understand.   

6. Be Authentic   

You need to be at your best to get the most out of any networking encounter or opportunity. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not to be effective at networking. Know who you are and be confident in that. For example, if you’re introverted, don’t try to come off as an extrovert because you won’t be able to keep up the façade for long. 

Indeed, extroverts generally excel in social situations. But that doesn’t mean that introverts can’t succeed too. They can still engage with others and still network effectively. Introverts can also work to their strengths and do less talking and more listening. You may have to learn to be more charismatic. But then again, it’s something you can learn.   

Whatever the case, you want to ensure you’re yourself and bring your best self to the fore. Be excited to meet new people and have fun while doing it.   

7. Help Others

One of the goals of developing a business network is so you can get assistance from others. But realise that you also have a responsibility to help others. When you meet someone, you should consider how you can help them and how they can help you.   

Before interacting with or pitching to others, you must know what you and your business bring. Think about how you can help them achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle and how you and your business have the tools and resources to make that happen. 

So, offer prospective contacts your tools, products, contacts, advice, support, or even new ideas on how to grow their business. People are more inclined to listen to you when they know you have something to offer.   

8. Follow Up   

Whenever you’ve connected with someone, it’s always good to follow up within a few days. Following up is essential because you risk someone forgetting you. You should follow up if you made a commitment that necessitates it. But even if you don’t commit, keeping in touch is good.   

9. Be Consistent   

The key to building a solid network is consistency. Realise that building a reliable network will take time. You must be willing to be consistent in your networking efforts. Therefore, it would be best to take a proactive approach to relationship building, regardless of your industry. Your goal should be to be good at building and maintaining relationships whenever the opportunity arises.  


Networking is an extremely useful skill that will help you grow your business. Recognise that businesses, like individuals, cannot exist in isolation. Building and maintaining relationships is the foundation of business success. As a result, when it comes to business networking, you must be intentional and proactive.   

It is important to note that you do not have to be an exceptional person to be good at networking. It’s all about being purposeful and proactive. Remember to seize any opportunities that come your way. Create networking opportunities for yourself when the occasion arises. The best practices listed above are a great place to start when learning to network effectively.