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In the world of comms, there are many things that are really important. Coming up with a strong, long-term strategy; if you’re in internal comms, being able to engage employees from a range of disciplines and backgrounds; being good at communicating is obviously a must. But something that often gets forgotten is networking.
Networking often falls to the bottom of the list as it’s time-consuming and can be awkward and a lot less appealing after a long work week. However, there is a lot of power in doing it regularly.
Maintaining your loyal clients
For the comms industry, it’s an essential part of building and maintaining business. Networking is all about making new relationships, finding opportunities and more importantly maintaining your loyal clients and contacts. Ensuring your business is seen in the marketplace is extremely important and often, attending seminars, workshops and or talks, are some of the best ways to get your agency’s face out there.
Some of the most famous faces credit some of their biggest deals to connections they’ve made at networking events. Virgin Founder Richard Branson says, “Succeeding in business is all about making connections”. He credits his thriving business from ensuring all staff have an abundance of networking skills as it’s this that has allowed him to succeed in so many different industries. He believes, “Business is all about personal contact. No matter how heavy your workload is… everyone can and should be a networker.”
Business is all about personal contact
It needn’t be hard
Forging swift and strong connections can lead to some of the longest working relationships and best business. Networking doesn’t always need to be hard work and forced fun. It can be organised, such as a regular meet and greet session, hosted by your own agency to drum up new business or continue the longstanding relationships you already have. Keeping clients happy is part of the deal. It can also just be a regular chat over coffee that happens to include some business discussions.
It can be mistaken for the place to sell
One thing to remember is that most people are much more relaxed in a social setting than when they’re in a business meeting doing a presentation for example. Face to face is also always best as you get the chance to build a rapport with someone, or a group of people and also iron out any difficult discussions that need to be had in a much more positive environment.
Networking isn’t about selling, but it can be mistaken for the place to sell. It’s actually discussing, building a bond with someone and also exchanging ideas, best practice and sometimes business. It’s almost like setting the scene for a future rehearsal. Networking is the groundwork and it could lead to something beautiful, or it may take a few sessions to really get the connection going.
Source:: Business 2 Community