Business networking is the process and act of leveraging your business or personal connections to bring you a regular flow of new business. While this sounds quite easy to explain, the intricacies of Business Networking done well often trips up many networkers.
If you think about how many people you know, why aren’t you running out of hours every day with a constant flow of new business?
Now think if those people you know really understand your business well enough to refer business to you that is both timely, and well qualified.
Many business professionals think that merely showing up to a business networking event, drinking a few drinks, eating a little and shaking hands is all it takes to effectively network their business. It is not. To effectively network your business take a lot more effort and planning than simply attending a few networking events per month.
Really effective networking is proactive so that you have the knowledge to be reactive when needed. Start by understanding your network of referral partners. The core to networking is to be methodical and specific each week to work on a plan to grow your connections, deepen your relationships with those you network with, expand your knowledge about the services and products offered by your network, refer those individuals and then to educate them as to what makes a great business referral for you.
Should you be networking at all?
Ask yourself a question – Am I just networking to gain business? If the answer is “Yes”, then perhaps networking is not for you.
We say this because networking is not just about what you get from it, but more about what you can give to it.
The most successful business networkers are those who listen to what others are looking for and refer someone from their business network. They’re always looking to connect people they know and help others. As a result, they tend to get others sending them referral business because they network with like-minded people.
How do I learn more on how to be an effective business networker?
We’ll be exploring the aspects of successful business networking in depth over the coming weeks and months – stay tuned for more blog articles where we explore how to deepen your network and more.