But to do this, you need to spread the word about your expertise and make people aware of what you have to offer.
According to Sanjay Lobo, vice president marketing at Vistaprint.co.uk, the UK’s leading business card specialist, networking is one of the best ways you can promote your products or services to secure new business for your company.
“Simple networking is an effective way to gain new leads and it really doesn´t take a lot of effort,” says Sanjay.
Networking is a fantastic way to promote what you offer and research has shown that more than half of people are more inclined to use or recommend a service from someone they have met in person.
If you’re new to it all, the easiest way to start is simply to get some business cards printed and to hand them out. Once you´ve done that, try to find out if there are any business networking events in your area and see whether you can go along. This is a good way to meet like-minded, local business owners in an informal and relaxed environment.
Before you attempt to sell yourself and promote your products or services to the new people you meet, it’s vital that you build a rapport. Your aim should be to form a long-term business relationship, not to bombard them with comments about how wonderful your company is as soon as you start talking.
It’s also worth remembering that quality matters more than quantity when it comes to networking. Take the time to talk to new contacts, focus on them and their business and find out as much as you can about what they offer. Rushing conversation and scanning the room for others to meet at a networking event won’t go down well and could create the wrong impression.
When you take your first step in reaching out to potential customers, it’s important to make sure you are armed with the correct networking tools when you are out and about and having an attractive business card is a great place to start.
“Not only are business cards an effective way to make people aware of your company, but a fantastic, stand-out card can also leave a positive, lasting impression with potential clients,” says Sanjay.
“We carried out a survey recently which showed that 38 per cent of those who use business cards have gained new business leads more than six months after they handed them out, which shows that a striking card stays fresh in people’s minds whatever the length of time.”
Pietro Pagani, Creative Manager at Vistaprint, says that a business card reflects the credibility of your business. His tips for business card design include:
“Keep the design relevant and simple,”
“Position the information to ensure it doesn’t get lost or look a mess. It’s important to communicate who you are and what you do straight away. If you do use colours, make sure these match or complement any colours you may have in other promotional materials.
“Include your address, phone numbers, email and website, but also think about including a logo, a corporate message or motto, to make it unique.”
Pietro also suggests using the reverse of a business card to offer something a bit different, such as a photo, image, map or calendar.
As the UK’s leading specialist in this area, Vistaprint offers unique and expertly-crafted cards that allow businesses to stand out – your very first step to gaining new business.
There are more than 5,000 professional designs to choose from, so you can tailor your business cards to suit you.
With prices starting at £9.99 (excluding VAT) for 250 premium cards, Vistaprint customers can network for next to nothing, making consumer contact cost-effective. To view the entire range of thousands of business cards and to start creating your own, visit [ilink url=”http://www.vistaprint.co.uk”]www.vistaprint.co.uk[/ilink]