Is Networking Working For You?
Hard work isn’t it, this networking? Even more difficult now all your networking events are on Zoom.
How can you possibly be expected to nurture genuine relationships and expand the reach of your business? Family pub quizzes are hard enough…
You’re probably like most hard-working business owners too. Attending everything you can, spreading the word, offering to present for free and trying your best to be a contributing member of the business community. With all that time and effort, I wish just showing your face did the trick, but it doesn’t.
There’s a little more you need to do to reap the benefits of using your network…
What’s the point of networking?
What do you get back from it? What’s the tangible benefit to your business?
The problem is, that’s really difficult to measure. You might get one job directly from networking that just about pays for all that time and expense each year. Yet you can’t shake that deflated feeling of disappointment.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone when it comes to this feeling. Many SME owners go through the same.
Luckily, there is a solution to make sure you’re networking effectively and not just showing your face at the opening of every envelope. We want to make sure you’re actually using your network for the good.
I’m going to talk you through how to turn a small network in to a powerful tool for your business. How to align yourself with people that not only reinvigorate you as a business owner, but also make you part of a community that actively wants to see your business do well.
Swapping business cards is not the way anymore.
Break the mindset that swapping cards in a room of thirty people is going to effectively grow your business. Everyone enters a networking room with a view to sell their services. I’ve been networking for over ten years and not one of my best business relationships was borne over a networking breakfast. Plus, if people want your contact details, connect over LinkedIn. It’s 2020.
Who’s in your top 20?
Draw up a list of the twenty most influential people in your marketplace. These won’t just be potential clients, but they will be people who can introduce you to potential clients.
You need to be able to get along with them though. Business people smell blood as soon as someone is being disingenuous.
Once you’ve got your hit list, come up with a plan that will earn their attention. What can you do to put yourself in front of those people and why should they care?
And who said networking was dead?
Now you have their attention, take them for a beer, a coffee or invite them to check out your super cool meeting room.
Find out what makes them tick. Think of ways that you can help them or refer them work.
Again, this HAS to be genuine. If you’re only in this for you, forget it. Using your network is a two-way street. As with anything worth having, you’ve got to put the legwork in. The more you give, the more you get.
Leverage your contacts.
How different would your business look today if you were able to pick up the phone and go for coffee with some of the most influential people in your marketplace?
Do you see the difference? Most people’s version of networking is blindly distributing business cards and a sixty second sales pitch.
The smart business owner is using those opportunities, and any others, to identify influential people who will align with their values. People who they can help and may be able to help them.
All business is about relationships.
Concentrate your time and energy on building effective ones.
This targeted approach takes time, but the reward potential is huge, and the reinvigorating feeling is priceless. It’s all about using your network effectively.
If you’d like to talk more about nurturing the right relationships for your business, book a Discovery Call with me, I’d love to talk to you.
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