Have you ever wondered what networking means or how to increase the network you already have for your roofing business?
Here we present the art of networking for the roofing industry. There are many groups and ways to ensure your network and company grows. Find out below the many different avenues you have for networking!
3 Ways to Jumpstart Your Networking Opportunities
Connect with Others
Connect with people who aren’t in your same line of work. Try to expand your horizons but keep your general arc the same.
For example, if you’re a residential roofer, try connecting with realtors, building contractors, or business owners to gain a better lead base.
Go to Events
Research local networking events, and try to get your foot in the door for as many businesses as possible. The business world has been booming lately, and networking has grown to all-new heights with the internet.
Taking an active outreach approach can also help increase your network. Try to reach out to your local or city businesses to find those who are willing to work with you.
Keep Your Network Organized
Once you have your network, you’ve got to keep them and your leads organized. Some roofing or project management softwares, like JobNimbus, can help keep you on track and in easy reach of your network.
Here are a few ideas to strengthen your networking process, keep things organized, and create a better growth pattern.
Networking Do’s and Don’ts
Find Common Ground
Conversations will naturally run their course if there’s something both speakers have in common.
If you don’t know anything about the other person, you can always start by talking about the event itself. What brought them to the event? What are they hoping to get out of it?
Establishing some commonalities will also help you better remember who you talked to and what you talked about.
A study found that 96% of people consider themselves good listeners, but people only remember about half of what others say. Without active listening, it’s difficult to build solid relationships.
Make an effort to stay actively engaged with the conversation. Try out some of these tips for active listening to improve your networking.
Don’t just reach out when you need help and disappear. Instead, be sure to stay in touch with your networking contacts. Check in with them occasionally to just say hi and see how they’re doing.
Help Where You Can
Remember, networking is a two-way road, a give-and-take. You want to help others as much as you’re asking for help. When networking, listen to the other person’s point of view. If they mention anything they’re struggling with, want help with, or are looking for a solution, speak up.
Additionally, if you say you’ll help someone, follow through.
People inherently want to feel heard. Asking questions about what the other person says shows that you’re listening and want to know more.
But don’t ask questions to just ask questions. You don’t want to derail them from the point they’re trying to make. Ask questions to dive in deeper or to clarify what they’re saying.
With so many people at a networking event, you might just want to wait for someone to come to you. If you do that, you might not talk to someone the whole time you’re there.
Remember, the point of going to a networking event is to network! Take the initiative and introduce yourself to someone, especially if they aren’t talking to anyone else.
Bring Your Business Card
Your conversations don’t have to end at the event. Give the people you talk with an easy way to get a hold of you and continue talking by handing them your business card.
Make sure that all your contact information is correct before heading to the event.
Seek Out Roofers Who Aren’t Your Competitors
Connecting with vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors can create some good relationships. But for in-depth insights, it’s worth connecting with other roofers. Those are the people that know what does and doesn’t work for a business just like yours.
Of course, you wouldn’t share your best strategies with your biggest competitors. Neither would they.
So the art of this type of networking is to find roofers who aren’t directly competing with you. Maybe you do commercial roofing, and they only do residential. Or maybe you’re in Florida, and they’re in California. Since you’re in different spheres of work, you don’t have to worry about them taking business from you.
The Don’ts of Networking
Get Someone’s Name Wrong
When you’re meeting a lot of people for the first time, it’s easy to mix up names. Getting someone’s name wrong is unfortunate, but it does happen. But the bigger mistake is mixing up their name and carrying on like you didn’t.
If you get their name wrong, apologize.
Not Speaking in a Conversation
A one-on-one conversation will necessitate having both people talk, unless one person dominates the conversation. But bigger groups can be harder to speak up in. Make sure to raise your voice and share your opinions in every conversation you join.
Talk with Your Mouth Full
Some networking events will have food. Feel free to have some but be careful not to talk while your mouth is full. It can come off as tacky, and it makes it harder to hear what you’re saying.
In your hurry to make as many connections as possible, you might end up cutting conversations short or not focusing on the person you’re talking to.
You absolutely don’t want to rush your way through the event. Doing that can make it harder to develop the relationship you’re searching for, so give yourself time to chat. If a conversation isn’t useful or you’ve reached the end of one, let yourself move onto the next opportunity.
Master the Art of Networking
Networking has many different paths to success! The main points to remember is keeping your current connections, expanding those connections at events, and following networking etiquette. Now go out there and find the best network for you and your roofing business!