“Get Savvy” is Nordea’s new podcast for entrepreneurs, where we focus on one growth-related topic each week. This podcast is supported by Nordea Startup & Growth, Nordea Connect and Nordea Markets.
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The concept of building a network can seem daunting for any budding entrepreneur. After all, not many people have the time to go to coffee meeting after coffee meeting or attend industry conferences on top of a full workload.
To help overcome this hurdle, the latest podcast episode of Get Savvy digs deeper into the process of networking and how it can help drive business growth. Michel Issa, a founder of 14 companies who became famous for taking selfies with Sweden’s top business leaders, shares his secrets for becoming a savvier networker. He also lays out how to expand your business network in just a few steps.
5 steps to grow your business network
Businesses are best built by friends
Friends help friends. The same holds true when growing a business, and this is where networking comes into play. People prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust rather than with strangers. Therefore, building a reputable business network is a key driver of business success. When building a network, approach it with the mindset of developing friendships rather than pure business connections.
One, two, three – jump!
Connecting with new people takes guts. Figure out who should be in your circle, and don’t be a stranger. Remember, you are the driver of your own network. Try to be where the people you want to connect with are. Whether it’s a physical event or a social network, let your interest show, and be genuine. People are naturally more interested in those who show devotion. So, just do it.
Don’t give up, it’s not personal
If your meeting invitation receives radio silence or even a negative response, don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s lack of time. Move on, and see it as a learning. The more you practice, the better networker you will be. Always keep your invites short, concrete and explain why you want to connect with that specific person. The “copy paste” approach does not work here.
Keep the momentum going
After getting started, use your new connections to further expand your network. Ask them who else would be good to connect with and why. You will be surprised how much people are willing to help. After all, we get real happiness from helping others. So take the leap and ask if your contact can introduce you to one of their friends.
Think long-term and focus on “we”
Instead of fixating on the here and now, take a long-term perspective. Think about how you can maintain your new connection as an active member of your network. Start to think in terms of “we” instead of “I”. Invite your new connection to join an initiative you’re passionate about. Do you need a mentor, or does your business need an adviser? Perhaps you and your new connection could start an initiative together? Be creative, and identify your synergies.
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