Success Tip: Networking that produces long-term business-building results is not about meeting a lot of people; it’s about meeting the right people.
Spend time doing your research so you can network with your target market. The person you “meet” may not be the right one for you, but they may know someone who knows someone who knows someone who will be beneficial to your circle – if you are taking networking seriously never make assumptions about the person you are talking to.
Success Tip: If you aren’t networking for the long run then don’t bother networking at all. Honestly, you are wasting your energy if you expect instant satisfaction or business.
If you are part of a networking group, make sure the people in your group understand what you do. If they don’t, how can they be expected to look for opportunities for you? Know exactly what you bring to the networking table and find those people with whom you have things in common, the people who are genuinely interested in you and your business.
Success Tip: Ask yourself why would people want to network with you, what do you have to offer? And are you willing to spend time building and nurturing your professional network?
Networking isn’t just about what’s in it for you, it’s also about what you are going to give to others. Take a good hard look at what you can offer as an effective networker. People want to feel like their pain is understood so keep that in mind, be helpful and be an active listener and it will help you in return. Remember you have one mouth and two ears.
Success Tip: Give value to receive value. The entire purpose of networking is to build solid trusting relationships — business relationships that are of value to everyone involved.
It’s important to have a mindset that allows you to give as much in time and effort as you expect in return. Business networking is one of the most effective and powerful marketing and prospecting tools when it is a win-win for all involved.
Success Tip: Remember the “Law of Reciprocity”: Whatever form of value you give, be it service or monetary, you will likely receive the same or greater value in return.
Let your fellow networkers know that you want to support their successes as well. Giving value must come from being genuine and having an open heart.
Success Tip: Use Networking to grow your business and appraise your networking goals?
As with any element of a profitable marketing plan, you must have a realistic understanding of how networking fits into your overall business-building plan. What is your networking objective? How will you measure networking success?
Success Tip: Networking is a powerful marketing tool.
A major ‘don’t’ is to spend the whole time talking about your own business, what you do and then push for the business. This is a big put off and isn’t it surprising how many people haven’t got this yet? No one enjoys being on the receiving end of a ‘sales pitch’ and remember you for the wrong reasons, it’s more likely to make them quickly move on! The entire purpose of building a network is to develop solid win-win business-building relationships and the key is to get to know, like and trust one another. The business-building “gold” is not in collecting names but in the solid relationships you build.
Networking involves WORK. With planning, effort and enthusiasm, you’ll get a great deal out of it.
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