Networking with other business owners is even more valuable than most of us realise. It's one of the best marketing tools because it gives you a great return on investment (ROI), which in the case of networking, is with using your time.
A successful networker is someone who knows that networking is about building relationships, not about selling your products or services. This requires you to:
- Listen more and sell less - spend most of your time listening to others sharing information about themselves and what their needs are. Sure, you think they could benefit from what you sell, but at this moment, it is about building a positive relationship between you both moving forwards. Asking questions such as 'what people do you need to connect with?' and 'what do you need? are great to find a way to demonstrate your usefulness.
- Do your prep work - before you attend the networking event (either online or in person), understand what it is about, the types of things that are ok to discuss and what you can share about yourself and your business.
- Follow up quickly - if you say you are going to do something, do it. Your actions will speak loudly about how reliable you are and how you treat your customers.
- Help out more - be the person who shows interest in what someone says, offering to help and offer advice if that is what they want. This should be done without promoting your business.
Are You a Net-worker or Net-taker?
In networking, there are two kinds of people. Those who give and those who take. A net-worker is someone who will help others without promoting their business, focusing on building a relationship instead. Then there are those which are net-takers who are in it for themselves.
A Net-taker is someone who:
- comes to events because they want something
- look at others as people to help me
- don't follow up with others
- wait until you really need something before starting networking
- are all about selling, selling and selling
A Net-worker is someone who:
- comes to events to build relationships and connect with others
- seek to help people (if they want help)
- do what they say they will do, and quickly
- make networking about helping, not wanting something
- promotion is not their 1st or 2nd priority
Posted: Thursday 17 June 2021