The importance of networking.
Are you building relationships or pushing sales?
No matter your industry, you’re going to rely fairly heavily on your network and effective networking is an important skill to have. It’s only through building strong relationships that you can ensure your business success.
Business networking gets a bad rap. Many people have negative mental associations with business networking events. They imagine a sweaty salesperson in an ill-fitting suit trying to pitch to everybody in the room. These people hand out hundreds of business cards, talk all about themselves and are not the slightest bit interested in you unless you’re going to spend some money.
This is the wrong attitude to have about networking. When you are meeting other people, you should go in with an attitude of service. You should think about how you can help anyone you meet. What can you do for them?
There are a number of potential benefits to networking:
Meet new connections – Meeting new people is fun. You can meet new people and make new friends. If you go to a networking event with 50 people you might only truly meet 2-3 people properly.
Learn something new – Networking events should also be seen as an opportunity to learn something. You can learn from people you meet and from guest presenters.
Make money through referral partners – There are different networking events. Some networking events/groups, like BNI (bni.com) for example, are about getting referrals for your other group members. Referrals are an important source of customer growth for every business and networking is a great way for you to find more referral partners.
Sell more of your product – Whilst it shouldn’t be your key goal, it’s possible that you may find some potential customers at networking events that you attend. But you should not try to sell to them on the night.
Networking is incredibly powerful if done right. For many, networking feels like a chore. Can I just say that if you feel this way you are doing it wrong? Networking should be fun. You should be inspired. You should be motivated. You will make new friends.
Once you meet people at a networking event you need to follow up with them. You should create a plan of how you are going to follow up – whether via email, via phone or in person. You should priorities the people you meet via immediacy and importance of follow up. It may be that you connect via LinkedIn or Facebook.
Networking is a great way for you to grow your business. We have shared some information here but if you have any questions, please get in touch to.
Ethical Direct Selling Group has our Business Ethically Events running each month.
We also have the Association conference and awards night which is to celebrate people in the industry and how they are conducting themselves with ethics in mind.
Time to nominate people in the industry for our Awards.