Networking is a highly underrated form of marketing. It is perhaps the best way to tap into an unlimited source of potential business. We have all seen good networkers, those people that seem to know people everywhere they go. Normally it is not that these people have any special talents but they make themselves known. This is fundamental to a networker.
“To not only show up but to be seen to show up.”
If you can achieve this one outcome before long wherever you go you will be known.
From this basis you then need to develop the next part that is to be known for something. If you can be known as the person who does this or that and more importantly this or that well then you will create a huge amount of interest.
‘Successful networking is not about how many people you know but how many people know you, and what they know you for…’
Steps to successful networking
1. Contacting Your Existing Network.
Make a list of everyone you know and how they may be able to provide you leads. Then decide how you can create a win-win situation with them. Over time you will expand your sphere of influence and the referrals will begin coming in. Commit some time each week to call these people. Discipline is the key.
You do not have to go into a full proposal while networking, it could be as simple as lets have coffee and catch up. During coffee you will of course explain what you do and why you are different from everybody else.
2. Making New Networks.
Once you have exhausted all the people you know you will have to get to know more people. This is where networking becomes truly fun.
The best way to do this is commit some more time each week. It may be some time in the morning once a week for a breakfast, some time during the day for a lunch, and some time during the night for an evening seminar. Remember Discipline is everything. You will not create a huge network by going to one function a month.
Be sure to have your business cards on you at all times. Always exchange a business card or at least record their phone number into your phone memory if they do not have a card.
Remember the idea of the function is not to sit and talk with the same group throughout the function. You must create a mission to meet as many in the room as possible or collect a specified number of cards over the course of the function.
Always set a goal for the number of cards you will get. Work the room, shaking hands and offering a business card to everyone you meet.
Remember the idea of networking is to be known for something… Keep this in mind; the other attendees do not need your life story. Keep discussion on other matter short and sweet and then move on to the next person. Obtain their contact details, let them know what you do and who you are, leave a positive impression and move on.
The Key to Networking is Follow Up…
Don’t worry if you feel you don’t know the people you are meeting very well. The key to networking is ‘Follow-Up’.
Once the function is over, be sure to send a postcard saying ‘Thanks’ within 24 hours to those who supplied relevant information. This is important. If you fail to do this you might as well forget the functions.
Once you have sent the postcard you will follow up with a call about 3 days later.
This simple process is guaranteed to make an impression because the other attendees they meet will almost always fail to follow up.
This aspect of our strategy is what will set us apart from any competition.
Live with passion,