The art of networking is under-appreciated part of being a small business owner, in fact many people dread having to network. However, if you know how to network like a pro then it can help your enterprise no end and spur your firm on to further growth.

When networking becomes even more crucial too, is when you wish to work with other local businesses, either as customers or suppliers. In this situation, being a networking pro could be the way for you to make the kinds of connections that mean your business could become unstoppable. If this sounds like something you want to achieve for yourself, then you will want to read on and learn about some of the following top tips for networking that will work for you.

Pre-arm yourself with the right tools

Before you go out meeting potential clients, customers, or other local business owners at a local networking event, make sure that you have professional and well-designed business cards, leaflets, or other relevant marketing material. Many networking events welcome the display of marketing material for other attendees to view and take away with them.

If you are meeting the right people and putting yourself across well, then they will hopefully want to get some more details about your firm and know how to get in touch with you. Being able to present them with something professional and well-designed therefore, will just serve to further enhance your new contact’s opinion of your business.

Polish your elevator pitch

If you find yourself at an event or function with somebody who you really need to impress, you need to be able to describe what you do and why you’re better at it than the competition in double quick time.

The way you do that is through a polished and succinct elevator pitch. In other words a short and confident 60 second description of who you are, what your firm does, and what benefits that offers to your customers.

Pressure isn’t your Friend

When it comes to good and effective networking, pressure is something which you should avoid. You should avoid putting pressure your potential contacts through going for a hard sell straight off the bat. You should also not put pressure on yourself to turn every interaction into a sale. Taking this pressure off yourself can actually make networking into a more enjoyable experience.

Remember, the purpose of networking is to make connections and contacts which may well serve you in the future, even if they don’t yield business or success in the short term.