How to Increase Your Profits Through Strategic Networking is a Guide to the Mysteries of Business Networking.
When transitioning from salaried employment to business ownership, one of the most pressing concerns is bringing in customers. I’ll tell you one tactic that has been successful for me: making connections. Meeting with other professionals in your area to chat and trade cards is an example of networking. Local chambers of commerce and independently formed clubs like eWomen’s Network and Business Network International are familiar places to find networking events.
It’s common knowledge that individuals do business with those they like and trust. Prospective customers need time to get to know you before deciding whether they want you. There is no way to get rich quickly through networking. It’s a long-term tactic to expand your business’s reach and gain credibility among your peers.
The Art of Successful Networking
You need to have a solid plan for what to say about yourself before you go out and start talking to people. As business owners, we frequently make the fatal error of expecting our wares to be well-received by the public. The opposite is true. You need alkaline water because cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment, the salesman of alkaline water equipment insisted on telling everyone I met. Unfortunately for him, none of us had cancer, so we weren’t too interested in what he had to say. In contrast, he could have prompted us to think of someone we could recommend him to by asking if any of us knew somebody with cancer and waiting for a response.
Think about these issues before diving headfirst into networking:
“What is it that I do, and who am I?”
Where do I find my customers?
“What issues can I help them with?”
To what do I owe my specialness?
How can other people assist me?
There have been times when a speaker has left the room, and I still have no notion what his or her day job is. When a masseuse once got up and announced, “I do transformational massage,” the other attendees were left thinking, “What is transformational message anyway?”
Inquire About Assistance
Networking gatherings are where, for some reason, strangers are most likely to go out of their way to help you. It must be the culture; everyone wants to fit in and do good for others. This is how I sat down with most of my prospects: by reaching out for assistance. My specialty is developing programs that entrepreneurs will find helpful in their operations. So I appear at networking events and ask business owners if they can spare thirty minutes to an hour to try out our demo program and provide feedback. I’ve been contacting firms and seeking to talk with their
accountants since I learned that my company was developing accounting software for small enterprises. Considering how familiar accountants are, this was a breeze for the general public to accomplish. To contact their accountant or bookkeeper, all I needed was the name and contact information they provided. Suppose I needed to contact Joanne’s accountant and dial his phone. Joanne, one of your clients, gave me your number and suggested I get you. I don’t understand how this poor accountant could refuse my call after one of his clients requested that I contact him. This is an excellent illustration of how the “help me strategy” may be used to generate leads and get face time with prospective customers.
Join the Dots
Networking aims to increase your visibility in the professional community so that when individuals need your services, they will immediately think of you. Making introductions between businesspeople who need to meet each other and those who can help them is the finest approach to leaving a lasting impression. A real estate investor wishing to fund large-scale projects was one such case that I facilitated. As a result, the two groups have created a multimillion-dollar agreement to construct low-cost housing in developing nations. I had the real estate moguls puzzled over my identity for a long time. I could never have paid for publicity of this caliber.
Humans are peculiar creatures if you haven’t noticed that previously. When others help people, they often feel obligated to return the favor. For instance, because they brought us up, our parents hold a special place in our hearts, and we want to stay in touch with them and be there for them whenever we can. Guess who I’ll be calling when I’m ready to sell my house because of the real estate agent who went above and above to put me in touch with the people I needed to meet through my networking group. And while I’m still a homeowner, I’m spreading the good word about this person wherever I go. Here we see the power of networking in action.
Getting back to everyone you met at a networking event within a day is essential. For example, if you met Joe at a networking event last night, you may send him an email beginning with, “Hi Joe, it was nice meeting you…” Send a note or call them within the first 24 hours after meeting someone new if you offered to help them or if they offered to help you. This is a fantastic method of making an impression and being remembered. The fascinating aspect of networking is not so much the individuals you know as the people who know people you don’t know.
Get out there and start asking for help and giving back to the business community by assisting others in making money now that you have a better concept of who your ideal clientele is and how you can solve their difficulties.
All the best in your business dealings!
Executive VP, Marketing,
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