Build Your Business through Strategic Networking

Networking ? it's the latest business trend. Or is it?

Actually, business owners have always engaged in the art and science of networking. Only years ago it didn't have a name. Business owners would get together, shake hands, and smile and chat about themselves and their businesses. Same thing with "coaching." I've been a sales trainer for 40 years, but it wasn't until five or six years ago that someone said, "Milt, you're not a sales trainer, you're a coach." I always thought coaching was leading your kid's soccer or baseball team. Turns out I've been a "coach" for 40 years.

The buzzwords, however, aren't important. What counts is what you do. And if you're a business owner looking to grow your business, then networking should be a way of life for you. It's how you climb the ladder of success. But if you don't actually climb that ladder, you won't go anywhere. That's why it's called networking!

While you can network anywhere ? I've met some really great clients while eating at the local diner ? a good place to begin is by joining a networking group. It's an excellent way to meet a lot of potential "suspects" who have the potential to become "prospects."

Here you will have a brief opportunity to stand up and talk about yourself and your business to a group of people who share the same goals you do. In essence, you become a 60-second commercial. When given the opportunity to "sell" yourself, be sharp and to the point. Look directly at your audience, not at the ground or up at the ceiling. Make eye contact. It lets your peers know that you're confident.

Once your commercial is over, get out in the crowd and talk to people. Work them like a politician works a crowd. But don't be pushy; don't use fancy words ? not everyone is a Princeton graduate, and make sure you have a firm handshake. Trust me, you can tell if a person is positive or negative by their handshake. And be a good listener. Listen 80% of the time, talk 20%.

But most importantly, don't make this an "it's all about me" affair. Remember, you're not the only person there networking. You're all in the same boat. When you introduce yourself, don't hand someone your business card and immediately tell them what you do. Show an interest in others ? talk about what they do. Ask them questions about themselves and their families; develop a rapport. In other words, don't kiss on the first date!

You'll know if there's any "chemistry" between you. If there is, make arrangements to meet at another time and place to discuss your mutual interests. Why eat lunch by yourself? And always ask for a referral.

While there's no harm in speaking to everyone, do target your audience ? seek out people who you know would benefit your business. But even if you determine there's nothing worth pursuing, a particular business owner may have other clients that can help you. You may speak to a business owner with whom you have no mutual interest, but you're also talking to his/her 30 "suspects" who may become "prospects."

As for that business card ? make sure it describes what service you are offering. Your card is your billboard. I suggest putting your photo on it. If I don't remember what you do, chances are I will toss the card. When you receive someone's card, don't wait a week or three weeks to make contact. Follow-up in a day or two.

The key to successful networking is practicing your presentation. Write down your message and key points and practice it over and over. Repetition leads to confidence. Practice in front of your spouse or friends and neighbors. Practice is especially important for people who are terrified to speak in public, which is about 99% of the total population. You may even want to consider hiring a coach.

There's also the "likeability factor" to consider. In order to sell your product or service, you have to sell yourself. And if people like and trust you, they'll sign that contract. Conversely, if they don't like you, you can be selling gold in your pockets, but they won't buy.

Networking is the best way to build your business. You can read a million books about it, but unless you get out there and do it, you'll never even reach the first rung of that ladder.

Milton J. Paris is Sales and Business Coach and Marketing Consultant for Paradigm Associates, LLC. The host and producer of the radio show "Getting Ahead in Business" on WCTC 1450 AM every Saturday, Paris believes the way to increase sales is through setting goals and executing them. An author and speaker, he served as President and Vice President of Sales for three diverse companies with a national customer base. He has 40 years of sales and business growth experience. Visit http://www.ParadigmAssociates.US or call (908) 276-4547.

In The News:

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Intel acquires Barefoot Networks, plans to bolster networking, interconnect silicon  ZDNetBarefoot Networks flagship product is Tofino, which uses Protocol Independent Switch Architecture.
The UK Networking And Support Groups That Female Entrepreneurs Should Know About  ForbesA strong network can be the difference between business failure and success. Here are some of the most exciting ones in the UK for female entrepreneurs.
How to use the first 5 minutes of networking to impress  LaddersIn the first five minutes of any conversation, the best people at networking do what no one expects: they only ask questions.
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VMware Scoops Up Avi to Strengthen Networking, Security Portfolio  ChannelnomicsVMware this week announced the acquisition of Avi Networks in a move that will see Avi's software-defined application delivery controller (ADC) added to the ...
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Rial Bates: Remember the Three P's of Networking  Northwest HeraldDuring my time as head of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce, I have seen many people succeed in growing a business through networking. There are ...
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Marvell: So, looks like Chinese buyers were cautious about networking kit...  The RegisterStorage and semiconductor maker Marvell Technology Group played down the impact of the effective ban on selling chips to Huawei as it filed losses of $21m ...
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Cambium Networks to launch IPO  Chicago Daily HeraldCambium Networks Corp. announced it plans to gp public with an initial public offering of 5.8 million shares.
BT Chooses Juniper Networks to Underpin 5G Capability and Move to a Cloud-Driven Unified Network Infrastructure  GlobeNewswireAutomated, Programmable Network to Deliver Faster, More Robust Services Across Fixed and Mobile Portfolio.
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Arista Networks CEO talks tariffs and tech  Fox BusinessArista Networks, a $20 billion cloud networking company, earlier this week announced a next-generation hybrid cloud that integrates its own technology with that ...
Juniper Networks: Security a Driver for SDN Adoption  Channel FuturesSDN and SD-WAN are hot. A Juniper Networks survey finds companies need partners to help them adopt and optimize software-defined tools.
China Issues 5G Licenses as Race to Build Networks Heats Up  BloombergChina approved four operating licenses for 5G networks, setting the stage for the super-fast telecommunications system amid simmering tensions with the U.S. ...
Cyclone Fani Affected Mobile Networks In Six Districts: Opensignal  GizbotAccording to a new report by Opensignal, Cyclone Fani affected mobile networks in six districts, while the users in the rest of the state experienced unchanged ...
FTE Networks Granted Financial Viability Exception by NYSE Regulation  GlobeNewswireNEW YORK, June 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FTE Networks, Inc. (NYSE American: FTNW) ("FTE" or the "Company"), a provider of technology solutions ...
Versa Networks partnership expands Riverbed SD-WAN offerings  TechTargetVersa Networks and Riverbed announced an OEM agreement, which will see the Riverbed SD-WAN portfolio expand and add a new enterprise product ...
UTA Announces All-Female Networking Series La Femme Majeure  BillboardUnited Talent Agency is introducing an industry-wide event series titled La Femme Majeure to help foster and promote women in music.
A+E Networks Names Karen Gray EVP Of Human Resources  DeadlineKaren Gray has been named EVP of Human Resources for A+E Networks. Reporting to Paul Buccieri, President of A+E Networks Group, Gray will oversee HR ...
S. Korea to create startup networking center in Finland, Sweden  Pulse NewsSouth Korea will build a startup center in Finland and Sweden to help fledgling Korean companies establish networks in the fast-growing startup hubs of Nordic ...
SVG College Summit: Pac-12 Networks' At-Home Production Workflow and the Role of Audio  Sports Video GroupThe Pac-12 Networks produces 850 live sports events — including 485 at-home productions — and 1500 events as shoulder programming across one ...
A Spy Used a Deepfake Photo to Infiltrate LinkedIn Networks  FuturismThe Associated Press found that a LinkedIn profile for a "Katie Jones" was a made up cover likely belonging to a spy, and the profile photo was a deepfake.
Modular Malware is the next big cyber threat in 2019: Barracuda Networks  MoneycontrolBarracuda researchers have seen a spike in the use of modular malware since the beginning of 2019. A recent analysis of email attacks targeting Barracuda ...
Turkcell deploys software-defined networking for corporate customers  Mobile EuropeWorking with vendor Versa Networks and systems integrator Odine Solutions, Turkcell has deployed an SD-WAN network core. The move aims to enable ...
Strencom acquires Baker Security and Networks  The Irish TimesDublin-based technology solutions provider has more than 100 clients including OPW.
Guidance, reassurance emerge from Iowa football's networking event  Hawk CentralIowa football held its fifth annual Networking Night, where former and current Hawkeyes mingle with an eye on the future.
5G in the UK: The best networks, locations, speeds and more  TrustedReviews5G in the UK is now here. We outline the country's best 5G networks, where you'll find the strongest 5G signal and highlight the fastest 5G speeds on offer.
Pavlos Politopoulos Joins Common Networks as Vice President of Field Operations  MENAFN.COM(MENAFN - Send2Press Newswire) SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 13, 2019 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) —Common Networkstoday announced that Pavlos ...
I went to a men-only ‘networking’ lunch and lived to tell the tale  The SpinoffSam Brooks goes to a 'lads' lunch' expecting the worst – and somehow gets the advertised 'good vibes'. When I heard of Lads Who Lunch, my first response ...
Docker Inc. Extends Tigera Networking Alliance  Container JournalDocker Inc. is extending a networking alliance with Tigera to include an instance of Project Calico software running on Windows Server.
To Track Or Not To Track -- That Is The Networks' Question 06/12/2019  MediaPost CommunicationsWe now have a conga line of digital media platforms promoting the idea that they don't want to “track” you — Apple among them. In addition, there are those who ...
4,000 banned devices found on government networks  fifthdomain.comA U.S. data security firm claims more than 4,000 devices from previous bans are still in use in the public sector. Forescout relied on a crowdsourced repository ...
Efficient Mobile Networks Are More Important Than Network Size  ForbesGiven the perfect storm of cost and operational challenges operators are facing, the path forward will be found through the deployment of machine learning ...
Head-To-Head Comparison: ADVA Optical Networking (OTCMKTS:ADVOF) and Risk (George) Industries (OTCMKTS:RSKIA)  Tech Know BitsADVA Optical Networking (OTCMKTS:ADVOF) and Risk (George) Industries (OTCMKTS:RSKIA) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but ...
Fitness entrepreneur creates networking group for women of color  Knoxville News SentinelThere are other women who look like you in this city who want to build their businesses too. Let's build them together.”
Facebook releases AI Habitat, a powerful simulator for training neural networks  SiliconANGLE NewsThe artificial intelligence models inside machines such as industrial robots require the ability to interact safely and efficiently with their environment. But training ...
Ripping Huawei out of US networks could be a nightmare for rural providers  The VergeRural wireless carriers like Eastern Oregon Telecom are looking ahead to another potential setback: being forced to cut Huawei products out of their networks ...
The most popular social media networks each year, gloriously animated  The Next WebIt's hard to remember a world without social media, but it existed – as did a lot of other networks. We tracked their evolution.
Why networking might not help actually help advance your career  Yahoo FinanceNetworking doesn't necessarily help you get ahead, according to the "Proximity Principle" author Ken Coleman. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman & Jeanie Ahn, ...
London Tech Week 2019: 3 UK Confirms it Will Work With Huawei For 5G Networks  News18At a time when Chinese tech company Huawei is facing troubles in some countries for the 5G mobile networks, mobile operator 3 UK has confirmed that they will ...
Strencom acquires leading Irish security company Baker Security & Networks  Irish Tech NewsStrencom, the Irish managed connectivity and cloud computing provider, today announced that it has acquired managed network and cybersecurity company, ...
Pluribus Networks unveils edge router for service providers  TechTargetPluribus Networks has introduced an edge router for *service* providers. The company is aiming the 9532C-XL-R at *service* providers looking for a no-frills router ...
Minister warns UK mobile networks to be wary of using Huawei 5G equipment  E&T MagazineThe UK's digital minister has warned British telecom companies that they should exercise caution about using Huawei-made technologies in view of the recent ...

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