I get asked frequently about Business Networking and what my take is on it. Is it worth it? or is it a waste of time and money.? My answer is yes!
I have an article that will be released soon on Business Networking that outlines my views on Business Networking.
Basically, I think Business Networking should be 80% of a small business’ marketing plan. You can put more networking in and it will take away from getting the work done, or you can put less networking into your plan and you will no achieve the goal you have set. And that goal is to put you business in front of more people.
There is no better way to do this than using word-of-mouth networking.
Now, there are good networking groups and there are bad networking groups. I say this factually because I have been to networking groups that welcome you as an associate and not as a walking Rolodex of connections. And I have been to many bad ones that stop you at the door to tell you the rules and the rule is that you have to furnish each person a lead to a solid sale, or you cannot return. That pretty much describes the entire spectrum of the type of networking groups that are out there in America’s business world. And there are many, many different groups between the best and the worst groups.
Some of these groups are grass root start up businesses testing their presentation skills and cutting their teeth by pitching their business in a 30 second commercial. Other groups are national franchises that try to cookie cutter their method all across the nation of sharing business connections.
What is wrong with either of these groups? Neither is doing what is right to market their business.
The correct way to promote your business is to build a relationship with a person, or in this case, a group of people. And make your own Network of people…
In whatever group you want to get involved with make sure to spend time with each of them to find out if you want to do business with them. Many times after meeting a person at a Networking function I find out later that they have the worst business ethics imaginable and I would not refer them to anyone I knew, much less do business with him. But it wasn’t until I sat down and got to know the person before I found this out.
There is more to promoting your business than just standing up and giving a 30 second or 15 minute presentation. You have to deliver. You have to build trust… and that is all about building a relationship.
The best Business Networking groups are the groups that first are interested in you and want to get to know you, the business owner, or company representative. And focuses on sharing what each other is interested in before finding out what business the members do. Doesn’t it make sense to sit down with someone and find out about them before you pitch them on doing business with them?
Think about the time you would save if you knew that the person you just met was blind and did not need the Televisions you were selling… Three simple questions asked is more valuable to you than a one minute presentation.
My suggestion to anyone who is wanting to know what Networking Group to get involved with is to go and ask questions. Thee is a group out there for everyone…
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