Networking is simply ‘word of mouth’ referral with the goal of gaining new business by building new contacts. Networking is NOT selling but about building and nurturing business relationships. Remember that new business might not come from the people you meet but from who they know.
The value of networking lies in being able to build personal relationships, making connections and extending a part of you to others. Many people prefer face-to-face because they like knowing and meeting who they intend to do business with. Have a plan and strategize where you will network. Giving your business card to all you meet can be beneficial too, as you do not know who is going to share your card. Networking can be a long-term project for your business and can lead to meaningful relationships as well. The value and fun in networking is unlimited, be sure to venture out!
After the initial networking, meeting is when the real work begins. Follow up ASAP. Send a nice customized card and call a few days after to arrange a time to meet for coffee or to have lunch. This way you listen to the details of what your new “friend” requires. You may have a chance to offer your services or goods, after listening. The meeting will have a purpose in both your lives, go with the flow.
Networking your business means you have to be proactive. Make a plan, focus and be consistent. When you truly understand what networking means and step up to the challenge, you’ll see opportunities that you may not have discovered and you will be able to make an invaluable investment in the steady growth of your business.
Networking is so much fun, so inspiring and yields wonderful fruit in your personal life and your business.
This may be a challenge for you or new to you, but we recommend going forward in this arena. You will be glad you did.