Most people seem to assume that by attending networking events, collecting business cards, and simply adding names to their email database, new customers will magically appear, ta-da!
We all have, at some time in our networking adventures, gathered enough business cards to start a small bonfire. Although this may yield the heat to roast a small mountain of marshmallows, it probably has not resulted in much active new business. Some of us even get connected with referral groups that are designed to build stronger relationships and generate accelerated business opportunities, only to be disappointed with those results too. We then divert the blame away from ourselves and conveniently on to the other people in that network for not helping enough.
When I started networking to build my business many years ago, I was very successful at making these and many other networking blunders. But after investing many years reading and learning from as many professional networkers as possible, including the women in my organization, I learned a few things that I would like to share.
What I learned that can help you
- I learned that I first needed to become crystal clear about my business goals and create a personal brand that my clients could connect with.
- I learned that I needed to understand the specific needs of my ideal client avatar and I had to accept that fact that I should not be trying to help everyone.
- I learned that I needed to find or build a quality network of selected partners that I could support and be supported by.
- I learned that I had to take ownership of this network and ensure that together we focused on:
- Building strong relationships with each other.
- Continual development of a larger and stronger network.
- Properly training each other to not only buy from each other, but to know how to sell for each other.
- I learned that my personal networking efforts need to be intentional and result driven.
- I learned I must have a networking plan to help my networking efforts stay focused and to track my desired results.
- I learned I need to have systems in place that will help me maximize my time and make my follow-up more systematic and automated.
- I learned that being a part of a powerful tribe of smart business women will bring me far more treasures than I could ever create alone AND these same women would become treasured friends to be cherished forever.
Most importantly,when I attending outside networking events, I made sure to follow a few very important strategies as outlined in my report: 13 Tips to get the results you want at your next networking event
I hope you enjoy!