Network like a Pro!
It goes without saying that it’s essential in business to build connections. Without them, we won’t have any future business but that’s not the only reason. The main reason is to help others build their businesses. To build those valuable connections, you must show a genuine interest in the other people and how you can support them.
American author, salesman and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar pointed out many times;
“you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
Why should I develop my network ?
Julia Stock, Founder of Be Astute, networks a lot and she is always building new connections, strengthening existing relationships and helping others to achieve their goals. The more people she knows, the more people she can introduce to others who need their services and the more those connections prosper.
As she points out, everybody networks with others to some degree, either formally or informally and there are many different free or paid meetings you can attend. As a business owner, we must all be marketing our business. Networking is a very effective way of doing this, especially because of the interaction that immediately takes place, something that is difficult to create on social media.
However, you need to understand where the best place is for you to make those connections because it may not be obvious initially. The golf course has often been touted as a great place to network but if you can’t play the game or decide a membership is not for you, then it’s not the right place for you. Others make their connections only on social media because that is the appropriate place for them to be.
According to Forbes, one of the best places for networking is at the bar!
What do I need to think about when building my network ?
If you do decide to do some physical networking, which of those many free or paid meetings available should you attend?
Remember, even if free, it is a form of paid marketing, (your time has a financial value even if the event is free), so you need to be discerning about which networking events to attend and assess whether it’s beneficial for you to be there.
Here are 5 things to think about your networking:
Where am I currently networking?
You may be connecting with people on different social media, meeting people face to face or doing both. List down every place that you network?
How well is that working for me?
Look down your list and score which ones are giving you the best results in the form of new connections and interactions.
Where is the best place for me to meet my potential customers?
How sure are you that the people that you can serve the best are on that platform or in that room? Where can I best build those relationships?
How can I best make an impact with others?
People buy from people and people and so they want to see the person behind the business. They will start to form their opinion of you, so where is the best place you can make that favourable impression?
How can I build a relationship with them?
Don’t talk about yourself but instead, be curious about them. Ask them about their business and how you can help them is a great start and they’ll soon open up to you.
Marketing never stops, it is a constant cycle.
Whatever you decide is best for you, you will need to work at it and be consistent. While you have a business, you will always need to be marketing yourself to others. Yes, it is work and yes, you have to work at it and like any exercise, the more you do, the more effective you will become