In the business world, developing great relationships with professionals in your field as well as in affiliated fields is essential. These connections can be used for everything from getting great deals on products and services to providing you with helpful advice, and more. So if you have recently left university, here are our top tips on how to make better business connections after graduation.
1. Develop your personal “infrastructure”
Before you think about getting more business connections, it is important to spend time reflecting on your technological infrastructure. Do you have the right business internet and phone service to foster great communications? Do you need to upgrade your smartphone or tablet for easier contact management? Should you invest in a client-relationship management program? Are your social media pages up-to-scratch, and reflective of your abilities as a business professional? These factors can all affect your ability to track and communicate with your contacts. With the right tech behind you, connecting with other professionals will become easier.
2. Attend trade shows
A great way to meet new players in your field and in related fields is to attend trade shows. Initially, focus your effort on trade shows that will be in your area. Other professionals that work in your industry will be keen to reach out to you as well. So look for in-person networking opportunities and go to as many as you can. Getting your face out there will make a huge difference.
Consider the benefit of travelling to other cities for larger events as well. Travelling beyond your community is generally only necessary if you work in a field with a larger service area or base, rather than in a localised position.
3. Participate in local organisations
Another great way to meet more people in your field is to research related and affiliated organisations and trade associations in your area. These associations may have networking events for members, such as luncheons, networking happy hours and more. Find active associations and join them to start participating in these events more regularly to meet with competitors and new members as well.
Joining social media groups will also provide you with a community of professionals that work in your industry. These professionals will understand what you do for work and can provide a great support network if you’re looking for advice.
4. Think outside the box
There are many ways to make great connections with others in your field. For example, you can find top players through industry chat rooms and you can reach out to them personally through email or a phone call. You may attend a social event and make business connections randomly. Because you never know when you will make a connection, you should always have business cards or your cell phone on hand. Be sure to update your online accounts and become active on many different sites.
The most successful individuals are those who know all the top players in the industry and who work with them regularly. As an aspiring professional who has recently graduated, you have a lot of relationship-building in front of you.
Special thanks to Eileen O’Shanassy for providing us with this article. Eileen is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking, and you can find her on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.
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