304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Along with networking, word-of-mouth advertising and marketing has become an important skill of the company. We understand it without effort. Yet, how well do we do it? Do we establish goals and objectives as we do for other service functions and advertising and marketing efforts? When I consult with other service professionals, I find that the value and power of networking are better recognized, but they often have a risk for networking. Here are some ideas and tips on how to be incredibly credible as a networking professional.
What would that mean? What goals will you have achieved? Surely you will be connecting with it? What problems are these amazing networking results solving? These are important questions and your networking activity should also be based on the answers to these questions.
Have you ever been to a networking event and mingled a bit, talked to a few people and then left? These results were certainly less than incredible. have you left without an appointment? Have you gone from getting only a few calling cards from people or maybe none at all? Have you given up on the idea of not following anyone? If so, then you have wasted your time by attending the event.
I recommend a strategy at a networking event that is practically guaranteed to improve your networking to a remarkable degree.
Don’t even think about trying to sell at a networking event. Focus on growing your network. Focus on helping others build their network or helping others reach people who could use their service or product. In short, help others. If you try to sell at an event you are playing a hit or miss video game. If people don’t need or want what you have to offer, you have no chance of selling, and if you keep trying after that, you’ll only convert people and they’ll fall for you. This is the last point you want to make. This is a rare networking event that offers marketing potential and I hope this is not news to you.
Imagine changing your thinking about networking to building your network instead of building your network where you try to sell. What exactly would happen if you changed your technique in networking to “presenting”, getting to know more people, and later getting them to present you to someone who uses can do
Individuals generally respond well to anyone who will help them achieve what they desire. So, shouldn’t you be trying to figure out how you can help as many people as possible? Be their referral source. If you help them, they will reciprocate by helping you reach more people. Find out how to help the people you meet.
Once you actually replace the “selling” attitude with a “helping” attitude. Let’s move on to the next step. This is where points can get really interesting. Now is the time to focus on networking with the right people. You need to connect with the right people for incredible results.
o Network with people who share your passions. They are not there to offer, rather to help others as well as widen their network.
Connect with people who are experts in helping others.
o Contact people who know people you want to do business with.
o Get together with people who understand many others. For example, magnets usually know many other people and they also know other business leaders.
o Choose opportunities where networking is not only expected but encouraged.
o Sign up with a networking group. One such team is BNI. BNI is a dedicated networking organization and focuses on not selling to the team rather than growing the member’s network and generating sales outside of the team.
o Attend networking events where everyone isn’t trying to sell to everyone else.
o At some point observe people who recognize many other people. These people have actually put a lot of time into developing their network. Once you get to know them, they can be incredibly helpful.
o If there is a host or people to help with introductions at an event, ask to introduce the people you plan to meet. Keep in mind that you want to meet people who can help you build your network. You want to consult with people that you can help by expanding their network.
o Always keep an aye out for “power networkers”. Power networkers are people with all the ideal qualities.
o Networking is like building a relationship. Always keep this in mind.
o Ask for introductions and then make a genuine effort to get to know various other people. If you can’t introduce yourself, introduce yourself. Constantly be real and discover different other person too.
o Set up a reunion to find out how you can help the person build a network. As long as you stay on target about helping the other person, you’ll quickly be asked how you can get company referrals or help expand your network. This activity strengthens the relationship and benefits both parties.
o Set goals for the networking opportunity. For example, aim to meet 10 people and come up with 2 follow-up lunches or 2 follow-up conferences.
o Don’t be too quick to make recommendations. Save your calls and only refer when you identify extra referrals from people you’re really satisfied with. It is for this reason that the follow-up meeting is so crucial. Show passion for learning more about the other person, services and products, and their best clients.
o Deal to meet a specific problem they may have told you. Again, it will be much easier if you approach it with the intention of helping with post-event conferences.
Some ideas about maintaining your network
Establish a means of keeping in touch.
o Use email to send ideas and additional networking ideas and suggestions.
If you issue an e-newsletter, put your new contacts on your distribution list after their consent.
o Once you get to know them. It’s best to send a note or card on their birthday. Birthday celebrations are often overlooked as well as you can stand out as the person born in mind. Also note that people are inundated with Christmas and holiday cards. It’s harder to stand out from the rest by sending one card during the holidays.
o If you find an interesting short article, cut it and send it along with a short note. There is a lot of power in this simple process.
o For people you want to get to know better, welcome them to lunch.
o Welcome them to networking events and ask them to invite you to networking events as well. Help them with introductions on these occasions and they will surely help you when you visit their events.
Organizational tasks take time and attention. Building partnerships doesn’t happen overnight without some work. You get a connection that you take in. What levels do you need to achieve? My research shows that to run a good network you need between 80 and 120 people with whom you maintain regular contact. At this degree this network will definitely be a big part of your marketing. You will be able to rely on it for important services.
The bigger your network is, it will definitely work for you and if you are able to maintain proper contact with 300 or 400 people after that, I recommend you definitely. There will be no need to do any other marketing because your network will allow you to deliver enough. You will certainly do all the business you can handle.
So skip the cost of networking events, and start building your network. Go to networking events that are best suited for building a network (as opposed to presenting an opportunity).
Establish specific goals for networking events to satisfy individuals, meet people, and conduct follow-up conferences.