To obtain business in today’s ridiculously busy and competitive world requires being visible so that potential clients see you in action. Business networking is the process of meeting other people and exchanging resources for mutual gain. Business networking forms the basis of business relationships. Small businesses rely heavily upon effective networking practices to win important investors, customers and partners. Your ability to network well is one of the factors that may not only differentiate your business but also ensure its survival
The problem with networking is that many individuals don’t enjoy it because it takes them from their comfort zone. Most people are more comfortable conversing with those they know and meeting new people is simply an annoyance.
However meeting new people has three positive effects:
1. Lessen labor – meeting new individuals allows you to prospect less as more individuals get to know you.
2. Increases Productivity – the more individuals you meet the more often you express your value to others.
3. Increases Visibility – The more you network, the more visible you will be
To help express my point, Michael Douglass and Charlie Sheen before he went ballistic on television starred in a wonderful movie called Wall Street. Sheen’s character Bud Fox wanted to become a Wall Street Maverick. He wanted to bag elephants like Michael Douglass – Wall Street millionaire and iconic trader and Fox would do anything to do so. He went to events, cold called him - literally anything to meet the tycoon. And when he did he was introduced to others and began to make thousands if not millions himself. This is why networking is so vital to success.
Here are the reasons to engage in great networking for your future business success:
- Effective networking can increase your visibility and strengthen your career. The more people you meet the more that know you. The most successful people in the world have vast networks. These help with jobs, leads, aid and a whole lot more.
- Do not be a wall flower make networking productive. In order to receive you have to give. Sitting in a corner and being inactive does not make you a networker. Even flour must be kneaded before it is bread you have to work at it.
- Remember to use an audio logo or value proposition. I work with many business owners and selling professionals. When I ask them what they do, they immediately rush into their title, stating, “I am the president of a bank,” “I am a consultant” or “I am a professional speaker.” If I were a client and heard this, I would immediately think, “So what?” Professionals today refrain from using their titles and occupations and instead provide an answer to the question “So what?” The method for doing this is known as a value proposition. Simply put, a value proposition is a statement that promotes the business to clients using outcome and results. This brief statement denotes the benefit(s) that a client receives from working with you. It is outcome based and focuses all attention on client.
- You are there for relationships not sales - A myth of networking is geared to the transactional end meaning that many attend expecting immediate business. Networking is about creating relationships that build trust and respect. The notion is to become a trusted advisor this does not happen overnight.
- Networking is a process and it takes at least six months of concentrated effort to build.
© 2012. Drew Stevens PhD, all rights reserved.