The Importance of Business Networking
You cannot overestimate the importance of business networking. Business Networking is a very valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, attain new clients and tell others about your business. Small businesses, big corporations and non-profits are all getting in on the act. Why, because it provides so many opportunities! There are even networking events for Affiliate marketing! Madeline Bell, president and CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) says it well. She tells her own children “You will likely get a job through who you know rather than through your education or work experience.”
She goes on to say that networking should always be done with an intention. Maybe your intention could be, “I want to make three new contacts” or I would like to make at least two follow up appointments with the people I meet.” Don’t network just to collect business cards and be seen. In other words, know the importance of business networking and make the most of your networking experience.
Why should I network? How do I achieve success? Following are some tips so read on.
This may be the first thing you think about when considering a networking group. When you join a group of like-minded people you yield high-quality referrals because of the relationships they have with potential clients. When someone gives you a referral make sure to follow up quickly and efficiently. It’s great to be able to contact a brand new prospect and say something like “Hi, this is _______ and I was talking with______ and they said I should contact you.” It opens the door much easier than a cold call! Likewise, be ready to give referrals to others if you have them.
The importance of the follow-up
If you connect with someone and have a meaningful conversation, be sure to follow up. Just a simple email that says you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to the next get-together is great . Be sure you stay in contact with this person because you never know what may develop as a result of your relationship
Enhancing your Profile
The mere fact that you are visible and have taken the time to attend a networking meeting can really boost your status among the group. You build your reputation as a reliable supportive person whose motivations expand beyond your own self-interests to include those of others. You have the opportunity not only to glean important information from others but to impart your knowledge onto them. Become a powerful resource for others. You reap what you sew and by doing this you are the one they are likely to consider first when they need what you offer.
If you’re an introvert like I am, attending networking meetings can be an effective way to “bring you out of your shell.” Consequently, you find that you have to “push yourself” to talk to people and make connections. The more positive response you get from others, the more comfortable and confident you are. It might help to have an icebreaker as simple as “What brings you here” or “What kind of business are you in.” As you know, people’s favorite subject is generally themselves.
Networking and meeting other business owners is a great way to motivate yourself. It is not uncommon to receive praise and words of encouragement from others which helps empower you toward success. As confident as you may be, it is always nice to know that others recognize you for what you do.
Holding an office Within the Network Organization
Here’s a great way to get recognition within your networking group. Many groups have elected officers. For example, the group I belong to has a president, vice president and a treasurer. These people really get the spotlight because they are up front at every meeting. They announce themselves and the projects they are involved in. Moreover, these positions generally don’t involve a great deal of time commitment and the return is great.
This is a nice perk that comes from networking. It is only natural that if you have commonalities with a person you will become closer to them as a result.
These are ways to achieve success in networking. Please share some of your experiences and successes with networking with us in our comment section below!