Articles

Supply chain finance: how to earn from your network

September 9, 2021

The trade industry is highly competitive and ever-changing. Professional development is key to survival. Suppliers, buyers, importers, exporters – and anyone in-between – will benefit from getting to know the new rules of networking.

In this post we’ll cover four practical rules you can follow that will get you paid for your trade network:

Global trade is a crowded field. Competition, geo-political risks and rapid advancements continuously shape how businesses import and export. The past year has considerably disrupted global trade. Trade growth will likely slow to 4.0% in 2022, with the total volume of global trade remaining below the pre-pandemic trend.

Companies anxious about international trade amidst a never-ending trade war need options, ideas and help from third parties.

For example, many suppliers would love a solution for dealing with buyers that want long payment terms. If any one of these suppliers had a better network, they might have learned about invoice financing.

The ability to network has been especially important in the past year and a half as global trade has been thrown into disarray by the pandemic. The international crisis has caused many to become digital professionals. As a result, digital networking has become more important than ever with sites like LinkedIn serving a vital connective role as people attempt to expand their network from home. 

This is the power of networking in the trade industry: bringing resources to your peers, sharing best practices and creating new opportunities. Below, we’ve put together a list of useful rules to follow if you want to make the most of your network. 

 

Rule #1: Use Key Industry Events to Grow Your Trade Network

Industry events are the best resource for professionals that need to stay in tune with industry changes. In the past these events would be a great place to touch base with your industry and meet it face-to-face. Unfortunately, the pandemic has created a shift towards online conferences and digital networking events. But these still present an opportunity to grow your trade network. 

For example, the Global Trade Review has been hosting a suite of virtual events recently such as GTR US 2021. These trade finance events are an excellent opportunity for the community to come together for discussion and networking. 

Domestic and international professionals can meet virtually to discuss topical situations, highlight new priorities, hear from expert speakers and ask questions ranging from fintech evolution to supply chain finance development.

Attending will help broaden your trade network significantly. But what comes after that? The next step is to leverage your new connections and make the most of the digital networking opportunities. 

 

Rule #2: Learn How to Network

There are two reasons to build and maintain your trade network: to discover new professional opportunities, and to discover new business opportunities. 

Discover New Professional Opportunities

A surprising amount of job opportunities are found through networking. In fact, 85% of jobs are secured via networking. Learning how to network effectively is vital for your job prospects. It also increases your likelihood of finding a job that is aligned with your interests. 

But even if you’re not looking for a new job, you can use the connections. Networking builds your credibility – and you never know when it will come in handy. 

Discover New Business Opportunities

An extensive import or export trade network can yield incredible business opportunities for you as a professional (and the company you work for).

Trade industry networking can help you discover new sales opportunities, new partners and new employees with subject-matter expertise. But how do you do this successfully?

 

Rule #3: Learn How to Leverage Your Trade Network 

Build Rapport

Once you have built up your phonebook and established connections throughout your industry it is time to start deepening those relationships. In order to have a real relationship with people in your network, make sure you follow up. Take the time to get to know them. Be authentic and you are bound to find other people with similar interests and a similar professional outlook. 

Good rapport with your network will enable you to make the most of your relationships and become an active participant in your industry’s community. 

Check In Regularly

Successful networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships. Regularly touching base with the people you know will show them that you care about their work. This is what strengthens relationships. 

Refer Business

At the end of the day, trade industry networking is all about fostering the exchange of information and ideas.

It’s easy to reap the benefits of a network. But it’s also important to contribute. There’s no better way to do this than introducing people in your network to each other.

For example, you could be the only point of connection between supplier and buyer. By introducing them, you can expand your network and establish yourself as a resource. This boosts your reputation and will lead to more opportunities down the road. An international trade business referral goes a long way. 

Networking sites like Linkedin make it easy for you to refer business while online and you will be able to continue to leverage your network even while working remotely. Increasingly we’ve seen that to succeed during difficult times you need to have reliable and considerate professional contacts. 

 

Rule #4: Get Paid Through Supply Chain Finance

If you’ve put in the work at industry events, learned how to build a network and learned how to leverage that network – you should be awarded for your effort. 

There are countless buyers and suppliers in the international trade market. Productive, mutually beneficial relationships can be difficult to find. Trade networks are valuable – which means they’re worth rewarding.

Stenn provides supply chain finance for buyers and suppliers, freeing up working capital for both parties. But most businesses don’t know a solution like that exists. That’s where a trade network comes in.

As a Stenn Representative, you get paid to refer potential buyer-supplier relationships our way. All you have to do is make the introduction to either the buyer or supplier (or both!). Stenn’s services can become a vital networking step for you. If the company is a good fit, you could receive up to a 5% of our commission on each trade invoice we finance. 

You’ve worked hard to build your trade industry network. Now it’s time to start getting paid for it.

Do you have an extensive import or export trade network? Contact us to learn about becoming a Stenn Representative or watch the video below on how to start getting paid for your hard work.

 

 

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