Networking is an excellent strategy for pitching your business. This refers to “the exchange of information and ideas among people with a common profession or special interest, typically in an informal setting.”
Business owners and professionals often network to grow their circle of influence and stay aware of industry trends and news. Networking can also provide a viable platform to market your company.
In the past, networking often took place at in-person events such as conferences and industry-related happenings. However, given the broad reach of the Internet, many professionals now use online platforms to network their companies or ideas.
How to Properly Network with Contacts and Potential Investors
There are some networking tactics you could use to market your startup business. Doing so can help build your customer base. It can also help you find potential investors if your company needs financial backing.
These networking techniques may include one or more of the following:
- Adapt your pitch to the platform. When unexpected opportunities to discuss your business come up, adapt your conversation accordingly. For instance, if you meet a potential contact at your child’s soccer game, you could start a casual chat without getting into too many business-related details. You can then ease into a more business-related talk.
- Personalize your pitch. People typically invest in people rather than companies. With that in mind, ask a potential contact about their family and interests. This can lay the groundwork for a more personalized discussion later. When someone feels like they’re chatting with a friend, they are more likely to be open to new ideas and opportunities.
- Discuss mutual colleagues. Another way to ease into a discussion with a contact or potential investor is to talk about who you know. Because name-dropping can be off-putting, discuss your contacts as “leveraging relationships” instead of sounding boastful.
- Talk about vision. Passion for your business vision is your most valuable tool for sharing your ideas with new contacts and investors. In this case, don’t use too much jargon or get overly technical. You should also use your time wisely by only touching on key points.
- Pave the way for a follow-up. Another critical technique is knowing when to end the conversation. Your networking goals should include making a good impression, exchanging contact information, and building the beginnings of a friendly rapport. If all goes well, you may be able to meet again. So, you should save the more in-depth details for a follow-up meeting with the contact or investor.
Are You Networking Your Business Properly?
You may not have much success if you aren’t correctly networking your business. However, if your networking seems awkward or you’re not securing any follow-up meetings, helpful resources are available.