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Top 10 tips for networking in the complex industries

5 October 2018

When it comes to networking in complex industries such as the manufacturing, engineering, automotive and healthcare sectors it’s important to be prepared. Business networking provides a platform to meet like-minded individuals, build relationships and get to know other businesses.

Below are our top 10 tips to bear in mind when it comes to networking in these often complex industries.

  1. Choose the right event for you
    Your time is valuable, so make the most of it by going to networking events that are suitable for your business. Depending on what organisations you want to target, often the more niche the event the better as you are in a room with only companies that are relevant to your business.
  2. Always be prepared
    Prior to the event ensure you are aware of the event theme and who the key speakers are. Make sure you take enough business cards and that they are easily accessible. Many networks publish their delegate and exhibitor lists prior to an event so you can familiarize yourself with who is attending.
  3. Set objectives and reasonable expectations
    Ask yourself why are you attending the event? Are there any delegates or guest speakers you would like to approach? You can save yourself time by having some key targets in mind.
  4. Ask open-ended questions during conversations
    This means that you should use questions which ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
  5. Have your ‘elevator’ pitch ready
    It’s important to be able to articulate what you do in a short and precise manner. If there is more than one person from your company you should all be saying the same thing – consistency is key! Make sure you explain how your business benefits that particular industry.
  6. Be engaged
    Listen carefully, keep eye contact, never interrupt and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Win people over by sharing enthusiasm for what you do within that industry.
  7. Networking isn’t a competition
    It’s about building relationships, growing your database of contacts and actively maintaining them. Industry specific events are also particularly useful to learn any key industry trends that you could potentially implement into your own business.
  8. Don’t sell
    You’ll have more chance of success by making genuine conversation, building rapport and showing interest in what the other person has to say. Remember, you’re trying to develop a relationship with a new contact and maintain a good reputation within the industry.
  9. Follow-up
    It’s important to follow up your connections. Remind them of who you are and what you do, provide them with access to more information and a means of progressing the relationship e.g. would they like to sign up to your e-marketing or would they like a meeting to discuss your services?
  10. Evaluate
    Take time out to evaluate your networking. Was the event right for you? Did you achieve what you set out to do? How would you adjust the way you networked? Would it be worth exhibiting at the next event?

We specialise in working with businesses in complex industries and networking should be part of your marketing strategy – Get in touch with one of our B2B marketing specialists to find out how we can help strengthen your marketing, or take our online Snapshot360 test which will give you an insight into your current marketing performance.

It’s about building relationships, growing your database of contacts and actively maintaining them. Industry specific events are also particularly useful to learn any key industry trends that you could potentially implement into your own business.

networking

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