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How to Get Clients Fast Through Effective Business Networking In Nigeria

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How to Get Clients Fast Through Effective Business Networking In Nigeria

Networking Overview

In this first guide in networking basics, we’re going to look at networking overall, and really get an understanding of the fundamentals of networking. So in this guide, what we’re going to discuss is first of what really is networking, then we’re going to dive into different types of networking and the forms that they come in.

And then lastly, I’ll share with you my personal success with networking. So first off, what is networking. And this is how I would define networking.

WHAT IS NETWORKING?

“I defined it as the physical act of meeting others providing value and building a long term relationship, both personally and professionally. Networking should be a positive experience to learn about other people’s story, and genuinely build a relationship”

Now, this is my personal definition of networking. However, if you talk to different people or different companies, they might have a slight variation of it. But ultimately, our goal is to meet people build a relationship and have a positive experience to learn about people’s stories.

That’s what it’s about. It’s all about building relationships and truly connecting with people. Because at the end of the day, ultimately people do business with people, as many cool software tools that are out there and is easy, simplified ways that you can connect with people on social media.

There’s nothing like that face to face connection that you can have with another person.

And networking is the best way to do that.

Types Of Networking

1. Social Networking

  • Social Media outlets
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Great for touchpoints
  • Can be the primary strategy
  • Online to offline experience

So now let’s dive into the different types of networking that are out there. So the first and most obvious type is really social networking.

These are your basically your social media outlets, your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, I really see these as great pieces for touchpoints are really initializing a conversation with someone that you may not be able to connect with directly through a networking meeting or another connection or networking partner.

So that’s what social networking is.  However, some people use it as their primary strategy for networking. Ultimately, what you want to do it You want to have that online experience with someone, and you want to take it to an offline experience a face to face handshake type of experience with them.

So you might meet them online initially. You might be connecting with them a little bit here and there through different touchpoints to see how they’re doing and how you can help them.

But ultimately, you want to get that face to face that one on one meeting, you know, talking with them, getting them getting to know them more on a personal level.

And I don’t care what anyone says about how awesome and effective social networking can be.

It’s never as good as a face to face, you will never be able to connect with someone as in-depth as a face to face meeting where you’re shaking their hand and you’re talking to them, rather than just doing something in more of a virtual environment.

2. Casual Networking

  • Meet casually in life
  • The plane, coffee shop, shopping
  • Out and about in life
  • Spark conversation
  • Opportunity for relationship

So the next type of networking is kind of casual networking. This is where you just meeting people in life. It can be on a plane or coffee shop or shopping, you’re just out and about and you’re sparking a conversation with someone.

This is an opportunity to build a relationship with someone.

A friend told me a story about him doing something very similar, he actually met a future strategic partner.

He was at a coffee shop and saw someone on their Mac and said, Hey, they got to be up to something. So He just went up to them and just started a conversation with him.

They started talking, he found out that the guy was actually a graphic designer. And through building the relationship, they now actually work together as strategic partners.

So him as a videographer and the other person, as a graphic designer are able to collaborate, share clients with each other, and provide a lot of value to their clients.

And we’re going to talk about that dynamic a little bit later in a strategic partner chapter. But the primary goal of casual networking is to just spark up a conversation

So don’t be nervous about doing that. And as you get through some of the networking processes and you become more seasoned, it’s going to be easier for you to approach people.

3. Formal Networking

  • Formally going to groups
  • Different types of groups
  • The intention of finding out business
  • Actively building relationship

Now, the last type of networking is the formal networking and this is what the bulk of the guide is all going to be about.

It’s about formerly going to groups, different types of groups, and really the intention of finding out about a person, their business.

You’re actively building a relationship so you can become partners, and how you can have a mutually beneficial relationship with each other or have just a great personal relationship with each other as well.

Networking Process

In this chapter, we’re going to talk about the networking process and the different steps of networking. We’re first going to talk about the different stages of networking.

I’m going to give you a broad overview of each, then we’re going to dive into each specific process for each one of those stages. So first talk about the different stages of networking.

DIFFERENT STAGES OF NETWORKING

1. RESEARCH

  • Knowing the connective approach
  • Having clear goals in mind
  • Discovering what group is ideal
  • Planning for the event

The first stage of networking is researching. This is understanding the connective approach that you’re going to have and clear goals in mind when you’re going into a networking event.

Then you want to discover what group is really going to be the best fit for you. What are the topics, what type of people are attending that you can connect with? And then ultimately, you’re going to plan for the event.

2. EVENT

  • Meeting fellow networkers
  • Talking about your businesses
  • Learning about others
  • Focus on connecting
  • Goal to set-up one on ones

The next thing is the physical networking event itself. This is where you’re meeting fellow networkers, you’re talking about your business, and you’re really learning and connecting with others.

Now the goal of an event is really to set up a one on one meeting where you can get to know the person on a more personal and professional level.

3. ONE ON ONE

  • Meet person individually
  • Focus on learning about them
  • Coffee, lunch, event
  • Provide value

The next thing after the event is the one on one. And this is where you meet the person individually, you’re going to focus on learning really about them. And it can be for coffee, it can be for lunch, it can be at a particular event.

But ultimately, your goal is to know them on a more personal level and provide value to them.

4. RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

  • Follow up with One- on- One
  • Regularly have touchpoints
  • Determine if a suitable strategic partner

The last stage is really the relationship building. This is when you following up with an additional one on one, you want to have regular touchpoints with them, and have a second or third, one on one meeting with them.

And then at that point, you’ll be able to determine if they’re suitable as a strategic partner for you.

If you can provide value to them, they can provide value to you, and even if you can’t work with each other on a business level, maybe on a personal level, you can connect as well and build a relationship from there.

Connective Approach Formula –

YOUR OVERALL APPROACH TO NETWORKING

In this chapter, we’re going to talk about the connective approach formula. And this is going to be the strategy you’re going to use for your overall approach to networking.

So we’re going to talk about is first making connections and the importance of that. Secondly, going to talk about the power of listening and really learning about the individuals that you’re going to be meeting at networking events.

Then we’re going to talk about just the overall strategy for building relationships. And then next, we’re going to talk about how you can take those relationships to build partnerships.

MAKING CONNECTION

  • The focus of connecting with people
  • People do business with people
  • They and you should KNOW – LIKE -TRUST

So when you go to a networking meeting, the main thing that you want to do is make a connection with people. You want to focus on really connecting with them on a personal level, you know, people do business with people, they’re going to do business with people they know, like and trust.

And if you come off as one of those people that just go there, and you’re talking about business all the time, and you just want to try to sell stuff, it’s going to be a huge turnoff for people.

How To Connect

  • Connect on similar interests
  • Connect on family
  • Connect on travel

So what you really want to focus on is connecting with them as an individual. Don’t focus too much on the business, as we talked about before, focus on the person and connecting with them.

Because ultimately, if they know like, and trust you, they’re more likely to help you out and you are more than likely to willing to do the same.

And by connecting with them on their interests, their likes, you know why they do what they’re passionate about, you are going to really stand out.

And they’re going to like, know and trust you more than other people that are just going there with the goal of trying to sell stuff.

Must Read: Reasons why You Must Hawk Your Business Like a Prostitute

Networking Event Process

business opportunities in the software industry

So the first thing we’re going to discuss is kind of the networking events that you could attend. So the first one is more of a referral-based networking group.

REFFERAL BASE

  • Designed to get referrals
  • Lots of “casual networking”
  • Goal to get & give referrals

This is your big type of group or even your chamber of commerce to some degree. Now, this group is designed to get referrals.

It’s a lot of casual networking because you want to spend time meeting with people talking with people setting up one on ones understanding their business with the intention of getting New referrals.

That is ultimately the goal of this type of networking event.

EDUCATIONAL BASE

  • Some casual networking
  • Goal to learn something from a group.
  • Sometimes speaker at an event.
  • Sometimes activity-driven.

The next type, which is my personal favorite is more of an educational-based networking event. There’s some casual networking that goes on before and after the actual event or educational part.

The goal is to learn something from the group. So they might have a speaker at the event, sometimes it’s activity-driven. But the thing is, is that you’re trying to kind of build relationships connect with people through education, or just an activity of some sort, which makes it kind of fun.

Understanding One-on-one Meetings

ONE- ON- ONE OVERVIEW

  • Meeting with business contact
  • Meet just with them
  • Sometimes can have 2 other people

So what a one on one meeting is, is it’s basically a meeting with a business contact, you just met with them at maybe a networking event and you connected with them, and you want to have you and them just sit down and have a conversation about each other.

So you can see if there’s some synergy and opportunity to connect on a deeper level.

Now, sometimes you can have two other people. Sometimes there can be three or four people there but ideally, a one on one is exactly what It says it’s a one-on-one, you meeting away from the noise of a networking event.

So the reason why you want to do this is that it’s going to help build and foster that relationship, it’s going to help you determine if you can be strategic partners with this person.

Another thing it can be a little awkward, you don’t know the person and you don’t know what to say.

But what’s great and the way to overcome this is you be you want to come research and be prepared. Come research, be prepared, be able to ask you know good effective questions to them.

Your primary goals of building that relationship, taking it to the next level by asking for a second meeting, and fostering that relationship. So you can move it to a strategic partnership, and then ultimately, to someone that can be a part of your business development group.

AN OVERVIEW OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

WHO IS A STRATEGIC PARTNER?

  • Business college
  • Networking partner
  • Close friend
  • Built a relationship with them

Strategic Partners; they’re a business colleague or a networking partner. They could also be a close friend, but ultimately, it’s someone that you have built a relationship with.

They are an individual that you have an agreement to mutually benefit each other and the clients so you can have a very close relationship with, they can be great friends or you can be strictly business partners. You want to collaborate with each other to benefit your clients.

So now let’s talk about why you’d want to work with a strategic partner and why this is so important in building your business.

COST

  • Essentially FREE to promote & sell
  • No consistent labor costs
  • Only pay for lead/sale

One of the main reasons is the cost, it’s essentially free for them to promote and sell you. There are no consistent labor costs like if you’re at a hired marketing or a sales manager, you only pay for the lead or sale if that’s the agreement you have.

Our primary goal of picking a strategic partner is someone that is aligned with your goals and the quality of work that you have as well.

Networking Power Start –

GETTING UP AND RUNNING WITH STRATEGIC PARTNERS

The first thing is you want to have clearly defined goals. You want to be intentional to build your strategic partners, and you want to be upfront about it right away when you reach out to a contact.

You want to align yourself with professionals in their industry and you want to be specific on your goal.

STRATEGY

  • Go to industry events
  • Contact them directly
  • Email – Phone
  • Proactively reach out

So your strategy with this is that ultimately, instead of attending general networking events based on business, you want to go out and contact them directly, so through email, or even call them, this is where you’re proactively reaching out to them.

And that’s the “POWER START” strategy. So here is how you would structure the contact, if you’re actually contacting them through email or phone.

CONTACT STRUCTURE

Introduction

  • Greeting to them
  • A positive note on day/week
  • Who you are

This is ideally how you want it to be structured. So first off, what you want to do is you want to have an introduction, you want to have kind of a greeting to them about yourself,, you want to have a positive note about the day or the week.

And typically you want to explain who you are. So you want to say hi, hope you have an awesome week.

Then the next line is really how you know them.

How You Know

  • How you know them
  • How you discovered them
  • How you came across them

So give them some insight, maybe you were referred to them from another contact, so you have instant credibility right there. Or maybe you discovered them online, or how you came across them some way or somehow you want to give them some basics on how you found out about them.

LIKE/ADMIRE

  • What you like/admire
  • Detailed example
  • Very specific on like/admire
  • Provide personal feedback

Then you want to see something that you like or admire about them what you like about them.

The next thing you want to do is you want to state your goal, what you want to do, what you and how they can actually help, how it will help them how it will help you what the actual goal is, what is the purpose of writing this email, then you want to provide them with a call to action.

It’s very, very specific. It’s very easy for them to say yes, that’s easy and convenient for me to the last thing you want to do is just thank them, thank them for their time thank them for reading thank them for their consideration

Something that states that you’re grateful for them even opening up the email and considering talking to you and considering, having a potential meeting with you.

What Next

So when you follow the process, and you use the structure and you start putting this stuff in place, you’re going to be able to hit the ground running with your strategic network.

And before you know it, you’re going to have a huge amount of strategic partners all of which are actively working with you to get clients for your business.

Next, download the free LinkedIn workbook to learn how to get Leads & Sales on LinkedIn.

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7 Best Loan Apps of 2021

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The inconveniences associated with accessing loans from the bank can be avoided, all thanks to the ever innovative financial technologies available today. Loan apps reduce and even eliminate the inconveniences of accessing money from traditional financial institutions such as time wastage, request for collateral and other securities.

With loan apps, anyone and everyone can access loans at any time of the day for emergencies such as bill payments, subscription renewals, school fees, even medical supplies. This article reviews 7 vest loan apps out there which anyone including you can use to access loans right now.

loans apps in nigeria

7 Best Loan Apps of 2021

Below are the 7 best loan apps of 2021:

1) Fair Money

Fair money does not demand collateral neither does it demand any processing fee. It offers loan from #1500 to #500,000. Fair Money interest rate ranges from 10% to 30%. With Fair Money, loans can be repaid by installments. All that is required to obtain a loan from Fair Money loan app is information about your education, your work details, your bank details, and your bio-data. only requires has an impressive rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 on Google play store. Hence, it is a highly-recommended loan app which you can try today.

2) Carbon

Formerly known as Paylater, Carbon app offers loans to interested customers from #1500 to #1,000,000 with interest rate between 1% and 12%. Carbon loan app offers loans without demanding any collateral. The interesting thing about Carbon loan app is that it rewards users for every bank transaction made with the app. What more? With Carbon loan app, you are offered cashbacks. These are subsidies provide to customers who repay their loan on time as a way of encouraging early loan repayment on the app.

3) Renmoney

Formerly known as Rencredits, Renmoney lends to people of 25 years of age and above. To get a loan on Renmoney, you must have a verifiable source of income as well as an active account with a commercial Bank in Nigeria. Renmoney offer loans ranging from fifty thousand naira to six million naira. You can repay your loan in a month or by installments in 12 months. Renmoney interest rate ranges from 9.8% to 40%.

4) Palmcredit

Palmcredit is owned by Transsnet, a subsidiary of Transsion Holders. This loan company is popular because it offers low interest rates ranging from 14% to 24%. Palmcredit offers loans from #2000 to #100,000. Anyone can get a loan on Palmcredit loan app without any collateral. All that is required is for the user to download the Palmcredit loan app app from the Google play store, install on his/her phone, set it up and apply for loan with the app. It’s that simple.

5) Okash

Okash is a subsidiary of Opay. They offer loans up to #50,000 with yearly interest up to 36%. Their loan approval process is really fast and requires no collateral.

6) Branch Loan

Branch is an online platform that makes it easy for people to access a loan anytime and anywhere. All it requires for you to access loans from Branch loan app is your phone number, your bank verification number, and your bank account number. Branch offers loans ranging from #1000 to #200,000, their loan amounts increase depending on how fast you repay your loan. Interest rates range from 14% to 28%.

7) Kia Kia Loan

Kia Kia is a pidgin phrase interpreted “quick, quick” or “quickly”. True to their name, Kia Kia Loan process their loan application with incredible speed. They enable peer-to- peer donation of loan. Kia Kia loan does not require documents or credentials. However, they employ chatbot in their services which requires your Email address.

Conclusion

Loan apps give a faster and easier approach to accessing loans. All you need to do is download these apps, give your details and access loans for your projects. Having gone through these 7 best loan apps of 2021, it’s easier and more convenient for you to apply for your loans now.

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5 Mistakes that Can Sabotage Your Business Credit Score

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Business credit score is an indication of the ability of a business to repay loans as at when due. An excellent business credit score enhances your chance of expanding your business and being on track for exponential growth. You’re able to afford the necessary expenses of your business if you maintain a decent credit score.

However, there are mistakes than will sabotage your business credit. Sabotaging your credit score will disqualify you from accessing loans from credit companies, this might negatively affect your business. Avoiding these mistakes will improve your business credit scores.

5 Mistakes that Can Sabotage your Business Credit Score and How to Avoid Them

1) Inconsistency in Business Account Details.

Inconsistency in account details like email addresses, web addresses, records, taxes, etc. are mistakes that can sabotage your business credit score. These inconsistencies open up gaps which make businesses to be perceived as being non-credible. Whenever credit agencies and trade credit vendors notice these discrepancies in details, they withdraw from lending money to such a business.

2) Not Maintaining a Positive Cash Flow

A business that is unable to maintain a free cash flow (available money a company has to pay investors their dividends, when repay their creditors) and a positive cash flow (having more money coming in than going out) will earn low credit scores. It is pertinent to maintain a positive cash flow as a business owner; it communicates the value and stability of your company.

Business Credit Score

3) Irregular Deposits

Inconsistent deposits reduce a company’s rating and chance to get business loans. It is really important for a business to be making consistent bank deposits. Also it is critically important that the rate of deposits should be significantly higher than that of withdrawals.

4) Slacking on Loan Repayments

The history of payments of your past loans is a key factor in determining your credit score. This has to do with the promptness of your loans repayment – how early you repay or how late you repay your loans. To maintain a good credit score for your business, please endeavor to keep repay your past loans on time or as at when due. Failure to repay your loan on time can drastically reduce your credit score which is not good for your business. As much as possible, avoid missing any payments date as this can have a significant impact on your credit score.

Inability to keep up with your credit card payments can sabotage your credit score. Payment history is one of the most important factors considered in loaning money, thus, it’s needful to set up automatic payment in order to prevent delay in payments. Paying your loans much longer than your due date will attract a low credit score to your business by business credit agencies.

Where you forget or you are unable to repay your loan, kindly contact your creditors and ask for an extension of repayment date and/or time. This way, you save you and your business the risk of being in the black book of your creditors and the Credit bureau. Besides, it helps to prevent your credit score from dropping and going low.

5) Being in Debt

This is a costly mistake that can affect a business’s credit score. A business in debt will find it difficult to access loans. To avoid debt, ensure you pay your vendors on time and clear your outstanding debts.

Conclusion

There are numerous advantages of a good business credit score. One of the notable advantages is low interest rates on business loans. Besides, with a good credit score, you enjoy almost instant financing for your business whenever you run out of cash. Besides, with a good score you are qualified for low insurance premiums and higher credit limits, and an open access to several credit opportunities from financial house, credit lenders and vendors.

It is really important to constantly monitor your credit history, ensure your account details tally, maintain a positive cash flow and keep up with early payment of loans to avoid sabotaging your business credit score. Do not forget to clear your debts as failure to do this can sabotage your credit score history.

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6 Tips for Small Businesses Before Making a Business Partnership

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The next line of action an entrepreneur especially someone running a small business considers to boost his/her business is partnership. This is because the main goal of every business is to make money and business partnership can offer a great deal of that.

Starting a business gives the business owner the power to choose the people he/she is willing to work with. Making the right business partnership decisions has the potential of escalating the profits and scope of a business almost overnight. However, partnering with individuals, brands or companies without the proper guide or information do not guarantee 100% profit.

There are things you should take into consideration before you go into business partnership (s). These things can make or break your business hence it is important to take note of them ahead of time.

I implore you to take your time and consider the points I am about to share with you if you truly value your business and intend to maximize your business partnership(s) and get full returns on your investment.

Useful Tips Small Businesses Should Consider Before Going Into A Business Partnership

  1. Be Clears With Your Motive(s).

When you are starting a business partnership, it is important that you have thorough understanding of your reasons for going into the business.

You should clearly define your motivation for the business venture which is to say what you hope to get out of the relationship. There should be a clear reason behind your quest for business partnership instead of running the business alone. Is it to increase your business’ income, to add more value to your products or to reach out to a greater audience?

You must have a firm reason behind your need for business partnership and why it is necessary. Be clear about your motivations or intention behind the partnership and make it clear to your prospective business partner. This will help to steer your small business partnership in the same direction.

  1. Choose A Partner With Complementary Skills.

You can’t have a partner that has the same strength as you. You have to double the power of your startup team right off the bat. For example, a shy tech expert who wants to start an Internet business would do well to find a partner with sales, marketing, and people skills. This way, both partners can focus on doing what they enjoy and are good at. So, partner someone, a company or a group with skills that are complementary to yours.

business partnership

Business partners dialogue how to move the business forward.

  1. Discuss the Long-Term Vision of the Business With Your Partner.

You have found a complementary partner, what next? Strategic business partnerships are in many ways like a marriage, and both parties must be committed to the growth and long-term development if it’s going to work. From the onset of the partnership, express your expectations and sign contracts with one another so that trust is established.

  1. Define The Job Roles Of Each Partner.

Having strategized and established a vision for the business, you proceed to discuss roles differentiations between you and your business partner(s). That is, what roles will each partner play? This is a keen move to eliminate any confusion on what each partner’s duties will be.

A business partnership is bound to fall apart soon after it is formed when one partner believes the other should be performing certain tasks other than the ones he or she is performing.

To avoid this confusion, prepare a written document with your partner stating the roles each individual plays so it can always be referred to when the need arises.

  1. Devise A Way to Measure Each Partner’s Contributions.

There will be times when partnerships experience stress and at that time one party may be tempted to assume that the other party is not pulling in the much-needed weight. To avoid mounting resentment, define clear and objective performance indicators from the beginning to measure each of your contributions to the business’s success. This way, if one or the other of you fails to meet up with his/her end, you can have a level-headed conversation based on facts instead of feelings and thoughts.

  1. Make Provision For The Demise/Exit of a Partner.

What happens if one partner is deceased or wants to leave the partnership? To manage these situations you need a buy/sell agreement document.  This establishes a method by which the partnership interest can be valued and the interest purchased either by the partnership or individual partners. In addition, it will do you extremely good to develop an exit strategy. Like a prenuptial agreement, an exit strategy should clarify what will happen to the business’s real and intellectual properties should the partnership come to dissolution.

Conclusion

Great businesses are founded on great partnerships. But great businesses can also be destroyed by bad partnerships. Small business partnerships can be harmonious, mutually beneficial relationships that help propel a business forward. You should endeavor to choose a business partner just as carefully as you’d choose a romantic partner. This could be someone you spend the rest of your life working with, so don’t go into it loosely.

Have you analyzed these tips? If you have carefully done that, you can finally say “I do” to that business partnership and go ahead to execute it.

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