If you’re looking for business networking in Petersfield, you’ve come the right place. We outline the opportunities and how to make the most of them.
If you’re in business, you probably already understand the power of business networking. Connecting with other people in the business community is an important way to discover new opportunities, win referrals and generally spread the word about how great your business is.
There are many ways to build your business network. You can do it online using social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, reaching out to connect with people, encouraging people to like your page and to interact with interesting content. But this should never replace face to face business networking; real life meetings can build strong bonds, turning your business friends and acquaintances into potential clients and powerful advocates for your business. They will bring you referrals, mention you in conversation, and think of you first when work needs doing.
Networking groups and events are a great way to make new connections and strengthen those you already have. Go equipped with an ‘elevator pitch’ – a short summary of who you are and what you do that really puts across why your business is special. Take business cards, and during any unstructured networking opportunities, make sure you approach people and chat with them. Remember to ask questions and show interest in what they do – and don’t expect to reap the benefits of networking straight away. In the first instance, business networking is about building relationships; the work and referrals come later. Your main priority at networking events is not to ‘sell, sell, sell,’ but to build trust and connect with others.
Whether you’re new to business networking or already have many years’ experience, BNI is one of the most productive ways to build your business network. By joining a chapter you’ll get to meet and build relationships with a broad cross-section of the local business community. But BNI offers more than that: it has chapters all over the world, linking you to a network that expands way beyond your usual field of influence.
BNI offers educational opportunities to help boost your business, along with opportunities to speak about your business and build strong bonds with key people in the business community.
Another important benefit of BNI is that members are encouraged to come to meetings with referrals for their chapter colleagues. Referrals carry a lot more weight than adverts – people trust word of mouth recommendations from people they know. That means your time spent with BNI is a great investment.
The value of the new business won through BNI is always measured, so you’ll fully understand exactly how your business has benefitted. BNI members, on average, increase their business 20% in their first year of membership.
Just one person per professional specialty is allowed in each BNI chapter. That means you won’t be competing with someone in the same field as you. To join a BNI networking group you need to check there is a vacancy for someone from your sector. If you fill that vacancy, you will lock out the competition.
BNI South Downs chapter is Petersfield’s leading business networking group. It passed £351,592 of business referrals in the past 12 months alone. We meet on Tuesdays at 9.30 am at The Hampshire Hog on London Road in Clanfield.
Our chapter is a dynamic, committed group of businesspeople who know how to refer business to each other. By joining our chapter you’ll get speaking and educational opportunities and a supportive environment in which to hone your networking and presentation skills.
You’ll also build a trusted network of people who will support and champion your business – your very own sales team, who understand the power of direct recommendations and referrals.
We have open categories for individuals who will bring enthusiasm and integrity to our meetings – check our website to register your interest.