If you want to prosper as a business, you need to know how to network. It may seem daunting but these steps will provide you with the best way to prosper in the business field.

Begin Networking before you need to Feel the benefit of Networking

One of the biggest problems of networking, and a reason why many people believe that it doesn’t work, is the fact that people leave it far too late to begin networking. If your business is going well, you may not feel the need to develop relationships with clients because there will be people coming to you and looking to see what you can do for them. However, when things are a bit slower, you want to be able to turn to people that you have already met and then look to make deals happen with them. If you haven’t already undertaken the appropriate steps to develop a relationship, you won’t be able to do this.

This means that when many businesses start the networking process, it is too late for them to get the benefit in time for when they really need it. This is why you should look to network at all times, and as early as possible. If someone is running around desperately looking to create relationships, other people in the room will see it and sense it, which often means that the networking plans go nowhere.

Create a Plan and Stick to it

When it comes to making the most of your networking opportunities, it makes sense to create a plan and then stick to it. This means being very clear on what your talents and skills are. This means that you will be able to say what you offer to other people, which is always a big factor when trying to connect with someone. You should also be very clear in what you are looking for or you should have an open mind as to what you can receive and benefit from when it comes to network.

Leave Any or All Personal Agendas Aside

When it comes to networking, you may be tempted to solely focus on what you can earn or benefit from. This isn’t the point of networking and if you set out with an attitude of it all being about you, you will eventually find that people stop coming to you or listening to what you have to say. You have to be prepared to give to others and if you can show that you have a generous nature or outlook, you’ll find that you can achieve a lot more when networking.

How To Network

Everyone is Important

You may be solely focused on meeting a specific person or people with specific roles or job titles, but this doesn’t mean that you should dismiss or write-off other people. You never know what connections a person may have and even people in lowly roles, on paper, may be the key the opening up a company full of connections and networking opportunities. It pays to be as pleasant and as nice as possible to everyone because you never what will happen or even what that person will achieve in the future.

Join the Dots

You need to listen to people and think about what they can offer. When you are at a major event, such as MIPIM 2016, you’ll be busy and you’ll have a lot of conversations to think about. There is a need to take some time, think about what was said and then start joining up dots about what is on offer and what you can obtain by working with certain people or businesses.

Follow up and then follow through

Meeting people at conferences is just the starting point; you need to reconnect them with off-site or at a later date to get the benefit of your networking skills. Even if you aren’t looking to do a deal, it makes sense to stay in touch every so often, because you never know what will happen in the future. If you meet people and then never get back in touch, you haven’t really networked, you’ve just met people!

One of the most important things about achieving success with networking is that you need to believe in networking. If you know the benefits of meeting with people and developing relationships, you will be far committed to the process, and this should help you in developing better relationships and working towards a better future.

Networking can be difficult, especially depending on your personality, but this is where real businesses prosper and how deals are done. If you are attending a conference, make sure that you are in the right frame of mind and have plenty of positivity before you start connecting and networking with people.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.