Building Meaningful Connections for Your Business

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Cape Chamber members network at a First Friday event.

The importance of networking shouldn’t be discounted when you are building a successful business. While some people are naturals, others understandably struggle getting started.

The Cape Chamber recognizes the importance of offering networking opportunities for our members to establish and strengthen relationships. Every month, we host First Friday Coffee and Business After Hours, events that are both free to our membership and recognized as tremendous networking gatherings.

But once you’ve arrived, how do you make a good and lasting impression?

1. Aim to build genuine personal connections.

Avoid dominating the conversation by talking about yourself and your business. People want to feel you are genuinely interested in them. Ask questions to get to know the other person and to understand what they do.

2. Listen when you join a conversation.

An effective way to make a good first impression is to join a conversation with a comment that shows you were listening to the current group of people. Acknowledge a key point to add to the conversation rather than refocusing on you and your work.

3. Be yourself and don’t try to sell.

When speaking about your business, make an effort to share, not sell. When you approach networking events looking to build relationships, personal connections develop and potential business opportunities often present themselves.

4. Come prepared.

The best first impressions are often the ones that appear effortless. Take time to prepare some questions that will help you learn about others and will create an interesting conversation that will leave a lasting impression.

5. Follow up.

Whether by email, text or phone call, be sure to follow up within 48 hours of making the connection. While a “nice to meet you” is nice, try to come up with something more specific, relating back to your previous conversation. Sharing an article you think would be of use to them is always a great start.

If you are ready to put your networking skills to work, become a member of the Cape Chamber today!