Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
7 Step Plan To Get Going With Networking > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

7 Step Plan To Get Going With Networking

Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, feel like you have the gift of gab or just don't know how to make small talk, networking know-how is very important for your business success. There is a notion in business that I believe most of us subscribe to that says "all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those they know, like and trust." And the key to this is obviously being able to develop relationships.

Think of networking as the cultivation of mutually beneficial, win-win relationships. In order to be win-win, there must be GIVE and take (notice the emphasis on give). Networking shouldn't be viewed as "events" where you go to sell your business. When effective networking is taking place, the parties involved actively share ideas, information, resources, etc.

Ok, so you know that you should be networking because it is one of the most cost-effective lead generation activities when used wisely, appropriately and professionally. But, maybe that seems easier said than done. Here's a seven step plan to really get going with networking for your business.

1. Check out several groups to find the best chemistry and perceived value. Most groups will allow you to come and visit at least a couple of times before you have to join. Go and ask around to find out why others have joined and what value they get out of belonging.

Resist the urge to just go join the Chamber of Commerce simply because everyone tells you that's what you need to do. If that's not where your target group can be found, then you might just be wasting a considerable amount of time (and money).

I'm not telling you not to join the Chamber. Just be clear about what you'd like to get out of this or any other group. If it's to find prospective clients or referral sources, then you need to be networking where those resources can be found.

2. When you find a group or two, join and go to all the meetings you can. Don't go just once or twice expecting things to happen and then if they don't quit. Building mutually beneficial, win-win relationships will take some time.

The contacts you make need to constantly see your face and hear your message. Continual contact with others over time will open up opportunities for you to go deeper and learn more about each others thoughts, ideas and capabilities in regards to your respective businesses.

Know, like, and trust generally only happens over time. Being regular and persistent will pay off.

3. Get involved - be visible. Do as much as you can to make yourself more visible within the organization. Volunteer to help with meetings, be on committees, or become a leader or board member.

Being involved does a couple of things for you and your business. First, you'll get more opportunities to establish connections and get to know some of the contacts you've made even better. Secondly, the higher the visibility you have in the group, the less you'll have to work to make new connections. Instead, as new people come into the group, they will likely seek you out because they view you as a leader within the organization.

4. Keep your circles of contacts informed. Don't just assume that running in to someone once a month (or even once a week) will cause them to start doing business with you or sending it your way. You need to let them know what's going on when you're not at that particular group in order to inform and educate them.

Send them invitations to your events or open houses. Send them email or letters to share big news or success stories, especially anything of relevance to them or those in their networks of contacts. If you believe that you have valuable ideas, information and resources to share with others, then doesn't this just make sense?

5. Work at GIVING referrals and sharing valuable information. That's right, you need to be willing to GIVE before you get. That means you need to get to know other members and what makes a good prospect for them. What kinds of information might you have access to that could be useful to them?

You may initially think you don't have much of value to share with others (besides your business and what you provide). Part of the key to getting good at giving is to not make assumptions. For example, don't assume that some basic resource (e.g., a web site) that you're aware of is familiar to someone you might be talking to just because they are the "expert" in that field. Be willing to ask if they know about the resource and ready to share if they don't.

Want to get better at actually giving referrals? Here's a simple question to ask someone you're connecting with. "How am I going to know when I meet a really good prospect for you?"

Just the fact that you are willing to explore giving will elevate your know, like and trust factor.

6. Focus on Quality, not Quantity, Quantity, Quantity. It's not necessarily about the number of connections you make, but about the quality of the ones you do make. Are they mutually beneficial, win-win relationships?

Quality connections will be identifiable because all involved parties will be actively sharing ideas, information, and resources. Yes, it is true that you need to spend some time and effort getting to know the other person(s) and what's important to them. But, you also need to be clear and actively thinking about what information or resources you want and need.

Staying in touch with and following up with a smaller number of quality relationships will generally be much more productive than trying to follow up with a larger number of superficial contacts.

7. Be persistent, but be patient. The goal of a networking event shouldn't necessarily be to come away with prospects every time you go out, but to come away with great connections. Networking usually takes time to get the relationships developed and nurtured.

Don't approach networking as a scary proposition or a necessary evil for being in business. Take the pressure off yourself and really focus on how you might be able to connect with someone you meet. Focus on them first and look for ways to be useful to them. As you become known as a connector you'll eventually be ready to reap what you sow.

(c) - Kevin Dervin, KPD Marketing

About the Author:

Kevin Dervin is focused on helping small businesses that are ready to grow, but struggle with how to consistently attract more clients. Visit http://www.proven-small-business-mar keting-solutions.com for more great marketing information you can put to use in growing your business today.

Find Kevin's Kansas City based KPD Marketing practice at http://www.ABCDgrowth.com and subscribe to his free ezine called ABCD Grow.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Crain's Cleveland Business (blog)

Networking is dating for professionals
Crain's Cleveland Business (blog)
It seems like everyone is doing it. It's business-savvy peer pressure – guidance counselor nostalgia. It can be awkward and costly. Even if you had to pay for a networking event ticket, you might decide not to show up. Sometimes you wish you hadn't gone.


Software-Defined & Cloud-Enabled: The Future of Networking for the Public Sector
CIO
Forward-thinking public sector IT teams are seeking ways to upgrade their networks to reach this level of elasticity. With an always-on network complete with software-defined and cloud-enabled solutions, public safety can provide more services to the ...


What to Expect When You're Connecting: Networking
Inman.com
As the name suggests, our Inman Connect conference isn't just about great speakers, sessions and learning. It's about building relationships...

and more »

TechCrunch

Facebook open sources Open/R distributed networking software ...
TechCrunch
Facebook is no stranger when it comes to open sourcing its computing knowledge. Over the years, it has consistently created software and hardware internally,..

and more »

Pactrick Air Force Base

AFSPC hosts inaugural financial management summit: increases networking of FM professionals
Pactrick Air Force Base
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Brig. Gen. Trent Edwards, Air Force Space Command director of programming, financial management and comptroller, hosted the inaugural Air Force Space Command Comptroller Summit here, Oct. 12, 2017.


The Sheboygan Press

Coastal: The Sign Shop owner grows business through networking
The Sheboygan Press
Networking was also key, something Clark admits he's not always comfortable doing. “Through my Chamber membership, I was encouraged to attend a networking event,” he said. “The first meeting I was nervous. We had one minute to introduce ourselves ...


HelloGiggles

If "networking" is a word you never use, that's because young professionals today are changing that game
HelloGiggles
If you're like us, the word “networking” conjures up images of a bunch of stuffy suits at an awkward mixer, exchanging business cards that will be promptly tossed out. We're constantly taught about the importance of networking, even though for most of ...


India software defined networking market is forecast to grow at CAGR of 36% till 2022
Markets Insider
LONDON, Nov. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- India Software Defined Networking Market By Solution (Physical Infrastructure, SDN Applications, Controller Software & Others), By End User (Enterprises, Telecom Service Providers & Others), Competition Forecast ...
Software Defined Networking (SDN) Market Research and Forecast 2017 to 2022TechnoPOW (blog)

all 7 news articles »

VentureBeat

Intel readies chips for 5G wireless networking superhighway in 2019
VentureBeat
Intel is going all-in on 5G networking, which will get us blazing fast wireless internet access. The world's biggest chip maker is announcing a family of 5G radio modems that will be able to transfer data wirelessly at multiple gigabits per second when ...

and more »

Groups meet for networking opportunity in downtown Terre Haute
WTHITV.com
Groups meet for networking opportunity in downtown Terre Haute. Local and state business owners along with professionals spent Friday networking in downtown Terre Haute. Posted: Nov. 17, 2017 4:39 PM. Updated: Nov. 17, 2017 4:39 PM. Posted By: Staff ...

and more »
Google News

Jump Start Your Network

Networking is often identified as a key business building activity... Read More

How to Shmooze

Definition: talk idly or casually in a friendly way Value:... Read More

Unforgettable First Impressions Part 2: Its All About Them!

Jean de la Bruyere said, "The great gift of conversation... Read More

Networking: What the Heck is a Ryze?

If you're new to the internet marketing club, you may... Read More

The Answer to Your Worst Networking Nightmare

Imagine you just met your ideal client at a networking... Read More

Where Does That Word Come From?

"Instead of a handshake, I gave Toby a high-five to... Read More

How Speakers, Exhibitors, Consultants, and Meeting Planners Partner-Generate More Money and Value

? "Make Every Moment Count" is the title of a... Read More

Value-Added Network

A value-added network can be achieved through explicit actions to... Read More

Effective Networking

The process of finding out about a job, getting interviewed,... Read More

Joining Industry Specific Organizations Has Many Benefits

Recently, while providing an up-and-coming Virtual Assistant (VA) and small... Read More

Unforgettable First Impressions Part 4: Become a Social Gift Giver

Do you ever wonder why single people give flowers, wine,... Read More

How to Find Participants for a Trial Run

Why is a network meeting the best place to get... Read More

Sell For Yourself Or Sell For Your Boss?

First of all I would like to start this article... Read More

How to Get Ahead in Your Career

Bigger Better Deal. That's what everyone always hopes will come... Read More

Effective Business Networking: 5 Tips For Mastering The Art of Networking

The heart of any business is the connection it has... Read More

Networking: Breaking into the Buzz

Breaking into conversational groups is one of the things people... Read More

Why Bother With Social Networking Sites Like LinkedIn?

Q: I think I understand the value of networking as... Read More

Networking - Facts to Ponder

Right here in Europe, the very last continent to enter... Read More

Unforgettable First Impressions Part 1: Discover the CPI

People like others whom they are like. So if you... Read More

Five Best Ways To Build A Network

I have been working from home on the internet for... Read More

Growing Your Network of People Can be Easy and Fun!

A few years back when I moved to Charlotte, NC... Read More

Follow-Up with Your Contacts

What happens when you meet a potential client at an... Read More

Lessons from the Wedding Mafia

One of my clients shared a story with me from... Read More

Online Business Networking: How Personal is Too Personal?

Online networking has opened up some fantastic business opportunities for... Read More

The Secrets of Effective Networking

Before we talk about specific networking tips I want to... Read More