Networking is a term that inspires different feelings amongst business people. For some, like me some years ago, it is something you know you should do to grow your business, yet can seem, well, a bit insincere.
In reality, networking is a very natural, friendly, and useful way to engage with the community. In many ways, it’s an opportunity to learn what’s important to your potential prospects. It allows you to see the value in what others are offering, the vision that inspires their businesses, and the people behind them. It’s much more than attending an event and begging for business. It’s about getting to know others and allowing them to get to know you.
Hmm, sounds more like building relationships than marketing or cold calling. Could be much more rewarding as well. Changing my perspective on Networking has allowed my small practice to enjoy a steady flow new business and happy clients.
Unfortunately to some, networking strategies can come across as pushy or self-serving. However, if you are interested in genuine ways to self-promote, consider these three basic, but powerful tips for success in networking.
MAKE HELPING OTHERS YOUR PRIMARY GOAL
People do business with people they like and trust. If it’s business that you want, make sure that others know first that you care. Ask people “What do you do…?” and listen to the answer. Then, try to introduce them to potential prospects or people that can help them. Bringing value to others is a sure way to gain trust. The returns will pay for the effort many times over.
GO PREPARED AND BE PREPARED TO WORK (NET-WORK)
Don’t hide behind your drink, or gather along-side your friends. Try to learn who will be in attendance ahead of time. Make yourself a goal of introducing yourself to a target number of new people. Collect business cards, and here’s the most important super success secret; CALL THEM after the event and schedule one-on-ones. By far this is the single most powerful thing you can do to drive new business.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK, but be selective. Choose events where your ideal customers, or those who could introduce you to your ideal customers would attend. These could be trade groups, industry based, interest or faith based organizations, etc.. Find groups that you can identify with and feel passionate about. Get involved, and reap the rewards. Consider joining an exclusive professional’s leads group, like the DBC Forum leads committee.
Networking is not just about getting leads and driving business. It can be an opportunity for you to contribute and leave your mark, to learn about all sorts of different things and grow personally and professionally.
For more information on networking in South Florida – Greater Doral area, contact the Doral Business Council business office at 305/470-9597. Ask about the DBC Forum and other committees. Or visit www.DoralBusiness.com
Armando Fernandez is an Investment Adviser Representative for Portfolio Square. To contact Armando Fernandez, call 305-303-4708 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org