Networking Your Way Through Life!
Networking is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to get the word out about your business. Social networking opportunities are limitless online and are very popular, but having some real time interaction with other business professionals is still very important for local exposure and profitability.
One of the most popular ways people do this is by joining associations and industry groups. Members attend networking events for the purpose of gathering in one place to exchange business cards and to talk to other executives about each other’s business. This is a good place for person to person introductions to share information.
It is always good to start conversations with an introduction of yourself and then learn a bit about the other persons business needs so you have the ability to see if your products or services are a good fit. The importance of using that information with a prepared mini business pitch is critical in capturing an immediate interest in your business. By explaining the value and benefit of how your products and or services can improve their business, you create a need for further discussion. If this is done right, you will be able to book a follow up appointment at the owner’s place of business to build rapport further in order to then close the sale. If there really isn’t a fit or business synergy, then you can move on quickly to meet someone else that would better suit your time. Often, people go to these functions without any preparation or thought focus and miss all the opportunities that are before them by just handing out their business card and engaging in some general conversation about what they do. The most successful executives always work smart. They ask questions, have a brief business pitch that creates value, exchange business cards to prospective clients and make follow up appointments right on the spot to maximize their efforts making these events profitable to attend.
Another way to network that is by far one of the most overlooked is to talk about what you do to everyone that crosses your path. There are many ways to engage with others socially in a passive, friendly way, that shares information about your business without sounding like an aggressive salesperson.
Each day you encounter people at places you frequent that might not know anything about what you do or the business you are in. All business owners use products and services not only to run their own company but also in their personal life as well which makes everywhere you go an opportunity. EVERYONE is a potential client when you mention to them what you do, and in doing so, they might also think of someone within their network of business contacts or family/friends that could use your services as well. The opportunities are endless when you start to expose your services to everyone you encounter. It’s as simple as handing them a business card and saying, “If you ever need my services or know anyone that might need them please share my number or pass my card to them. I will take good care of anyone you send my way.”
When you go to your dry cleaner, veterinarian, favorite restaurant, massage therapist, hair salon, doctor, gym or even to a wine tasting or art gallery, you can give the owner your business card for their reference. I am sure a lot of the places you frequent have been recommended to others in the past. Like telling people how delicious the food is at your favorite restaurant, how great your haircutter is, how well the vet takes care of your pet, how great your trainer is at your gym and so on. This should be mentioned to the business person you are speaking to if applicable in order to show them that you refer their business to colleagues, friends and family as well. This plays into the old saying, “one hand washes the other!” Today can be the day that you look at the world as the land of opportunity by…… networking your way through life!
Denise Dema is a Business and Life Management Coach who has over 20 years experience empowering individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners to attain self-defined success in their professional & personal lives. To learn more about the author and her practice please visit www.denisedema.com
Give yourself a gift. Realize your full potential. Contact Denise Dema now.