Business Travel is Back! 6 Essentials Of Networking During Business Travels
There’s an old saying that if you’re the smartest person in the room then you need to find another room. This stems from the human desire to constantly learn new things and other people are fantastic learning sources.
These days networking is a must in every field. Whether you’re attending a business conference within the States or going overseas, networking is key to finding success for you and your business. It allows you to make lasting connections, building relationships and community with other businesses and potential clients.
Here are some useful tips to help you when approaching other businesses.
What To Do Before Traveling For Businesses
- Join Social Media Groups Before Business Trips
One of the best ways to meet people in your industry is by joining popular groups specific to your business niche on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook before you travel. Even Instagram, Twitter and TikTok have a lot of great content for businesses you wouldn’t think would work on those sites such as Morningstar, a financial company, or the Washington Post.
Look at what people in those groups are talking about to give you an idea of what’s the most relevant topics in your industry right now. Take note of which topics get the most engagements. This makes for a great ice breaker when you approach a person in person.
You may even find people in these groups who are traveling to the same business conventions as you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them or engage with their posts! Reach out to any and all relevant people.This is a great way to start building a business relationship!
2. Research Who’s Attending Your Business Conference
If you’ve joined the popular groups of your business niche then you probably have already seen a few people who may be attending the same business conference or trip as you. Do your homework on who you are approaching and what their goals are. This is when that ice breaker comes into play.
Be aware of international business etiquettes and customs. It’s important to be respectful of peoples cultures and backgrounds especially when attending international events. You must remember you are not just representing yourself but your whole company.
3. Always Have a Pitch Ready
Having a pitch ready is super important when networking. Now while you definitely don’t want to come off as rehearsed, you also have to make sure that you don’t come across confused or not knowledgeable about your business especially when approaching a potential client, partner or investor.
Key things to remember are your value proposition, your target market, and your business model. This is how you demonstrate knowledge of your business. You want to make sure the people you pitch to see your dedication and belief in your company or else how can you expect them to see it?
Day of the Business Conference
4. Establish Yourself As A Reputable Person.
Presentation Matters. People shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but they do and that’s why you need to dress to impress. It’s usually safer to stick with neutral colors and modest looks depending on the industry but don’t be afraid to show a little bit of your style! It’s okay to stand out, especially if you are trying to create a lasting impression though dressing business casual may make you more approachable. However you choose to dress, just make sure that it is work appropriate and comfortable!
Dressing professionally is only part of the way to establish yourself as a reputable person. You must show it in your character too. Be a couple minutes early to meetings. Greet as many people as you possibly can clearly and respectfully.
5. Listen. Engage. Have meaningful conversations.
Think back to a time when you felt like you had a really great conversation. How much did you talk? How much did they? Chances are you did a lot of the talking and they did a lot of the listening.
Some of the most impactful conversations tend to be one sided–one person talking while the other listens. This is because people like talking about themselves. They love talking about what they are passionate about. If you can get them talking they will walk away feeling like you are a great conversationalist.
But that’s not always enough. You need to engage. Ask them questions about what they are saying. This shows that you engaged with the conversation and are thinking ahead. You’ll get a better understanding of who you are talking to and clarity on if you want to work with them.
Remember what they tell you and chances are they will remember you.
6. Build Lasting Business Relationships, Not Contacts.
Build connections. Make yourself memorable and establish yourself as someone trustworthy and skilled. But don’t come to people asking for a job or with the intention of selling your product.
This might surprise you. After all, isn’t the whole purpose of networking to get jobs or to sell your product? Isn’t the point of networking to get something out of it? Absolutely. But no one wants to feel used. No one wants to be pestered with questions.
When you are connecting with other businesses or professionals you have to treat them as equals, not clients. You have to make sure you are giving as much as you are taking. Give them a reason why they should befriend you.
Let them be the ones to come to you with opportunities. Or better yet come to them with some of your own. Go give other people recommendations and nice reviews on LinkedIn or comment on their social posts. This will make you stand out.
Surround yourself with as many people as you can even if they seem unrelated to what you do. When you are around people with different backgrounds or training you will be amazed at how much you not only learn but adapt. You’ll be filled with more creative ideas and approaches.
Now go connect with people. Start by finding us on LinkedIn or follow Vacayz to get a corporate discount up to 40% off any hotel for your future business travels. And if you are interested in learning about upcoming events and conferences check out Trade Show Advisor.