Have you ever been networking? – NO!
Networking isn’t a cult. No funny handshakes and no initiation ceremonies.
Networking is a gathering of local SME’s and business professionals just like you, meeting a regular
basis, with one common goal: To grow their business.
Ask yourself this question - Where else can you go and present your business or products to 20 -30
people and find trusted suppliers? Then be back behind your desk by 10am?
What if I added the fact that these same people will also be recommending your business to the
contacts they have, and offer some free advice to help grow your business?
So, why go networking at all? I can do this online.
Networking isn’t all about making a sale!
Running a business on your own can be a very lonely place. You don’t have the support of a
department to deal with the day to day issues you have to make a success of what you are doing. I
go networking to build great relationships with the people I meet. They all have the same issues I
face, and most of the people I speak to are experts in their profession. When I have an issue with any
part of the business, I have a go to person who would offer some great advice over a coffee. In
return I would do the same for everyone else.
I would also have great respect for anyone who helps me. When I speak to someone who needs
help, I would then offer a referral. This is how you then get business from networking. Provided
everyone does this, you can find business. Online, you just don’t get that report, and these days you
are pitched at as soon as you connect.
My Personal Top Tips for Networking
Always be yourself!
It’s so hard to remember trying to be someone else, being yourself is fool proof!
Be clear about what you do!
If you can be clear about what you do, and who you are looking for, then it is easier for others to
understand, and easy to recommend you.
Always be polite to the person you sit next to on the bus!
This is so strong…You just don’t know who knows who.
One hand washes the other
If I give you a lead or referral, then I would hope you would return the favour. The best networkers I
know are always looking out for others.
Always keep a record of the conversations and what each person does. This will help you be a better
referrer, and you will get to know everyone REALLY well.
Always FOLLOW UP
If you say you are going to send an email, or make a call, do it. You never know, from the time you
have spoken to someone, they may have thought of someone who needs your service.
Use the people in your network!
Don’t use and abuse the connections you are making. Nobody can work for free forever. Have the
same respect you would want. Free advice is great, but at some point the gesture will wear thin.
Buying from your network means they will buy from you! Not to mention you may get a discount!
If you are looking to improve your networking activities, and learn how you can get more from your
time, please contact John.
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Phone: 07898 870 870
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