How can you make the most of business networks?

Why you should use business networks?

Business networks are the best way to meet potential new providers, buyers, business partners, and any other kind of business relationship.

Traditionally, business network was an in-person activity, necessiting to meet other people in real life to conduct business together.

However, with the latest new technologies, it is now possible to reach millions of potential business partners on online business networks. For example, the Ariba SAP‌ business network has more than 4.4 million companies registered, and are all accessible from the network - buying or Ariba network or selling on Ariba network allows for any company to reach the whole network of buyers and suppliers, and open new markets or manage unanticipated term orders faster than ever before.

However, business networking still is very important, and has its own rules. We asked several professionals for their best tips on business networking, and here are their answers.

 Are you using a business network for corporate activities? If yes, which one, for which functional streams, and with which results?
Introduction to SAP Ariba business network - online course
Introduction to SAP Ariba business network - online course

Paige Arnof-Fenn: network in person when possible

Events are great for networking when not social distancing. You can meet prospective clients/customers, employers, employees, thought leaders, etc.

Start by looking to see if they have a ³look who¹s coming/see who's registered link on the website so you can look up who is attending and conduct due diligence on them through Google, LinkedIn, etc.

Scan list & look for people with common interests/geographies/overlapping industries, etc.

Drop an e-mail if you have contact info prior to event to introduce yourself & note overlaps, say you hope to meet them there.

If you know people at the event or organizers ask them to point out people of interest/on your radar then you can meet them directly.

Follow up after with note to stay in touch, connect on LinkedIn. My rule is that you should network in person when possible during the business day and do it online after hours. People do business with people they know, like and trust so you have to get out there to build your reputation online and off. Prospective customers and jobs can come from anyone anywhere anytime so you should always be on your best behavior & make a great lasting impression. Be nice to everyone & make friends before you need them, you never know who is in or will be in a position to help! Cast a wide, net the more people you know the more referrals you can get down the road. Here are a few more networking tips:

DO:

  • Give before you get. Give them something of value before you ask for the order. It can be an article, invitation for white paper, webinar, podcast, etc., just show that you value them and want to build a relationship beyond the transaction. It goes a long way when you take the time to educate entertain and inform your customers, respect their time and show you are in it for more than a paycheck. People like to do business online and offline with people they trust so become a brand they can count on by having consistent communications, being transparent and delivering on the promises you make.

  • Stop selling start listening

  • Find a buddy to go to networking events with so you can work the room together, it makes it much more comfortable and fun

  • Bring plenty of business cards

DON'T:

  • Monopolize people¹s time or let them do it to you, chat briefly and exchange info so you can follow up after

  • Overshare, let them do most of the talking

  • Get into political discussions with people you do not know

Paige Arnof-Fenn is the founder & CEO of global marketing and branding firm Mavens & Moguls based in Cambridge, MA. Her clients include Microsoft, Virgin, The New York Times Company, Colgate, venture-backed startups as well as non profit organizations. She graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Paige is a popular speaker and columnist who has written for Entrepreneur and Forbes.Paige Arnof-Fenn is the founder & CEO of global marketing and branding firm Mavens & Moguls based in Cambridge, MA. Her clients include Microsoft, Virgin, The New York Times Company, Colgate, venture-backed startups as well as non profit organizations. She graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Paige is a popular speaker and columnist who has written for Entrepreneur and Forbes.
Mavens & Moguls
Buying on SAP Ariba business network - online course
Buying on SAP Ariba business network - online course

Naheed Mir: Networking gives you the chance to share and talk

New contacts and referrals: Successful Startups look for opportunities around all the time.

Networking truly helps business visionaries to pick the right way. Networking has helped me in several forms of solving my issues. As you meet entrepreneurs and you will get to know that many people have similar business problems that you have, and you will find a way numerous solutions. Networking gives you chances to share and talk about difficulties with different entrepreneurs who've similar issues previously.

The most apparent advantage of networking is to meet potential customers or generate referrals, which helped me a lot to build my customer base. *Networking *can recognize openings in new areas of development for your business. You must have to attend occasions and gatherings to promote your brand to different peoples and experts. In case your business is new, this will give you a thought of what works for you. Does your community think about you and your business? The more occasions you join in, the more individuals you meet, the more exposure your business gets.

My name is *Naheed Mir*, and I am the owner of *Rugknots*.My name is *Naheed Mir*, and I am the owner of *Rugknots*.
Rugknots

The power of business networking

With these tips, you should be able to make the most of your business networking events.

However, if that isn't enough for you, consider learning more about the Ariba SAP‌ business network, and start either buying on Ariba Discovery‌ or selling on Ariba Discovery and reach more than 4 millions potential new business partners.

Ariba Discovery For Buying - Online course introduction video

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