This is How Networking can Help You Grow a Business Businessmen new to networking often make the mistake of not evaluating the first 'why'.

By Debasish Dutta

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Effective business networking goes a long way in promoting and securing the success of your establishment. While the fundamental of business networking is about building trust and credibility, establishing the same is a challenging undertaking. One must establish himself as a powerful resource of knowledge and expertise that a business can rely on in order for a person from the said business to return and continue the communication started from your end because ultimately, it's a two-way street.

Rules to Establish Yourself :

In order to establish yourself as that resource, some ground rules are essential. Your reputation grows with time and throughout your career, you must focus on delivering time driven and quality work so that no one questions your commitment and efficacy in running a business or providing a service.

Reliability :

A reliable person is one who is time driven, quality conscious and knowledgeable. Once this is established, any business person can utilise his credential and value to other people as his source of business generation. Clients and colleagues will remember you for your achievements and will spread the word. Needless to say, word of mouth marketing is a direct result of good networking and is a powerful tool for the growth of your business.

Communication :

Once you focus on building your credibility, the next important part is communication. Being good, or even the best, is not enough if you cannot establish the same authority to others by means of effective communication. It is the most essential instrument in your power on which your business rides. Therefore, it is important that everyone from your company communicates the same message about the company's goals, policies, approach and achievements. This is important because communication as a tool is not powerful enough if used by only one key person from your company. Wrong communication diverts and misleads clients, even though your intentions may be true. By focussing on giving clear but powerful messages you are establishing the credibility of your company. This in return builds the image of the company in the eyes of others.

Most people make the mistake of networking without truly understanding the implications it carries, both positive and negative. Any person you meet is subjected to your personal evaluation and it works both ways. Therefore, there are two very crucial points to remember while networking: why the person you are networking with is important to you, and why you are important to the person you are networking with.

Purpose :

Businessmen new to networking often make the mistake of not evaluating the first "why'. Networking without purpose is a lost cause. If you have no reason to talk to a person, better not to approach him at all, because you are likely not going to be remembered in a positive light. No professional businessman likes to waste time. Keep in mind that the person you are talking to is also evaluating you and your worth in his business just as you are evaluating him. Beating around the bush and leaving unclear messages is not going to be seen in a good light. In short, know your purpose for networking and come straight to the point.You will be valued as a person with vision and integrity.

The second "why' is more important because networking is ultimately about building trust, dependability and credibility. Once you've established your worth by means of the methods mentioned above, you must now look into keeping the interest alive of the opposite party. For this, always leave a proposition of interest to the other party for the communication to grow. Do your research and understand beforehand what might be of interest for his business. Instead of harping on irrelevant details, mention only those achievements, services and contacts which are going to be of interest to him. If someone has a reason to come back to you for his business, he'll remember you and spread the word, helping build your credibility in the long run.

Debasish Dutta

Managing Partner & Director (Projects), Orange Corp

Debasish Dutta is the Managing Partner & Director (Projects) for Orange Corp and takes care of the Venture Capital Investments & Advisory for Asia, Europe & US. Orange Corp is a Global Venture Capital and Management Consultancy firm with presence in 26 countries.

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