Much like the thought of marketing and sales, the thought of networking may make you cringe. For most solo-pros, service professionals, and small business owners, they hear the word networking and it brings to mind the old business standard of promotional networking at ‘meet & greet’ events where it's understood and accepted that everyone is there to schmooze and subtly manipulate one another in an attempt to gain some advantage, for themselves or their business, which will increase their bottom line.
Who wouldn't cringe at the thought of spending an hour or two exchanging banalities and sales pitches with a phony smile plastered on your face to hide your discomfort, in an attempt to ‘use’ someone else to get a leg-up on the competition or to boost your profits, only to walk away with a pocketful of biz cards and the prospect of hours of work to continue the charade through email and by phone? It feels uncomfortable, self-serving and deceptive. Chances are all those biz cards you collected will end up in a drawer of your desk never to be seen again because you'll so dread following up that you'll procrastinate doing so until they're forgotten.
The good news is it doesn't have to be that way! The Book Yourself Solid networking strategy operates from an entirely different paradigm; it's all about connecting and sharing with others, and all you have to do to begin to employ it is to shift your perspective from one of scarcity and fear, to one of abundance and love. With the Book Yourself Solid Networking Strategy, the focus is on sincerely and freely giving and sharing, and by doing so, to build and deepen mutually beneficial relationships with others. It's all about making lasting connections.
© 2005 Michael Port & Associates LLC
Get more clients with Michael Port, expert marketing coach for small business owners and professional service providers. Free small business resources, networking opportunities, articles, advice and coaching on professional services marketing at http://www.michaelport.com . Receive a free chapter from ‘Book Yourself Solid’ at http://www.bookyourselfsolid.com