Networking is not just about turning up and collecting a fist-full of business cards.
Replace the term “networking” with “relationship building” in your mind and here are five simple facts that will improve your experience and help you achieve results.
1. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust.
92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. It’s just simpler to do business with someone you know than a stranger. And for this reason alone, networking offers a real opportunity in business.
And while you may feel awkward about formalised networking sessions, they offer you access to other business people who may grow to respect and like you, and who will increasingly feel confident in recommending you.
2. Trust does not grow in the first meeting
There isn’t much point in ‘trying out’ a networking group for one or two meetings. Of course, it is possible that you find don’t like the structure of the group, or feel that the profile of the members doesn’t suit your business.
But if the profile is right, and to start with you feel like an outsider – stick with it. Commit to attending for several months, and you’ll find that your relationships with other members will develop.
That they..Trust that you are who you say you are….Trust that you do what you say you’ll do…. Trust that you’re in it for more than yourself.
3. Rubbish in; rubbish out
Like everything else, what you get out is entirely dependent upon what you put in. Do you arrive late and leave early, give your time grudgingly to meetings?
Or are you reliable? Are you demonstrating your capability? Are you supportive? Are you sincere and authentic? All of these components contribute to building a sense of trust and loyalty. — the base of a strong network.
Networking isn’t just about what you are going to get, it’s also about what you are going to give to others.
4. There is no prize for the one who collects the most business cards or the one who gives away the most.
Networking is about developing relationships, rather than chasing a quick sale. And if you spend your entire session rushing around trying to meet as many people as possible, you are unlikely to have a real conversation with any of them.
5. It takes more than just showing up or to simply attend networking sessions.
Take a good hard look at what you can offer as an effective networker. Watch for opportunities to help, spend time and energy building your network. The entire purpose of networking is to build solid trusting relationships—business relationships that are of value to everyone involved, get involved and watch it grow.
Thrive – Developing connections for growth
If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 01603 597727