My #1 Secret to Business Networking Success

Business Networking

When meeting new people with whom you might form partnerships, it’s important that you communicate your unique value to them.

Your goal for every networking encounter should be for the other party to understand the value of knowing you and the unique benefits you offer.

If you can match your unique value with their needs, you can create a win-win situation that leads to profits for both parties.

What Is Your Unique Value?

How well do you know the unique value you offer?

You may have an inkling already, but it’s important to figure this out before you start putting your efforts into networking.

You can start brainstorming with these questions:

  • How do you benefit those you work with?
  • What are your unique strengths?
  • What do you do well or know well compared to others?
  • What successes have you had?
  • How have you helped clients or business associates in the past?

Take inventory of your skills and areas of expertise.

Go through your work history and see where you’ve achieved results and where you’ve spent the bulk of your time.

You can also perform a SWOT analysis of your business to help clarify.

Learn Your True Value Through Feedback

Self-assessment will help you a great deal, but you also need to seek feedback from others.

Other people can help you understand your strengths better than you can by yourself.

Ask your friends, family members, employees, current and past business partners, clients, customers, and brand advocates.

Look back over emails to see what they’ve said before in praise of you or reach out to them and ask directly.

You can also read reviews or comments about your products or services.

Focus on the reasons customers or clients choose you over a competitor.

Tips on Refining Your Unique Value

If you come up with a big list, distill it down to just a handful so you don’t overwhelm people.

Which of your benefits would offer the greatest results to people you meet?

Choose one to three and put them up front.

One technique that helps you narrow it down is the “So What Test.”

For each item on your list, put yourself in the shoes of the other person and ask, “So what?”

This helps you discover which benefits have the greatest impact.

Communicating Your Unique Value

Once you understand your value, you need to learn how to communicate it.

There are many ways you can do this.

When you prepare for power networking, you should create an elevator speech.

This is the introduction you give when you first meet people.

It explains who you are, what you do, and how you serve others.

This should also convey in an easy-to-understand way the unique value you offer.

You should also include your unique value in your follow-up emails.

If you’ve conveyed it in your elevator speech, your follow-up can be a call back, driving home the benefits you offer and reminding the person of who you are.

The point isn’t to brag or hype yourself.

Find a few authentic benefits you offer others and there’s no need to exaggerate.

If the unique value you convey is authentic, you’ll form real relationships that grow into lucrative partnerships.

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Written by 

Co-Founder & CEO of Link Management Group. An Investor & Coach to Small Business Owners, for the past 30 years I have helped startup and early-stage businesses to enter new markets and achieve sustainable growth of both revenue and profits. I have experience across a diverse range of sectors including central government, information services, software, health insurance, pet products, couture fashion, entertainment and aviation.  How can I help your organisation accelerate growth and achieve its full potential? 

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