Lots of people network but few reap the rewards of zeroing in on their potential when it comes to networking. Here are some tips to help fill the gap between where you are now and where you can be.
1- Be Generous- Give without expectations and you will be surprised at how it returns to you. It may not come from the same source but a new client, referral, or opportunity will show up because of your efforts.
2- Be Consistent- As in marketing, the more consistent your networking efforts the more productive they become. Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerilla Marketing stated, “I hate to admit this, but mediocre marketing with commitment works better than brilliant marketing without commitment. ”
3- Know & Clarify WIIFT- When creating your introduction clarify who your target market is and “what’s in it for them”. Sell benefits. Verizon sells wireless phone service but sells it when you believe they never stop working to fill your phone service needs. “Can you hear me now?"
4- Get Involved- Getting involved puts you in a consistent position of visibility.
5- Be a Powerful Resource & Advocate for Others- Expand your network and be an advocate for others. Use your networking resources to hook up people you know with others. What goes around comes around.
6- Learn the Needs of Others then Help Fill Those Needs- Can your business fill their needs? Who do you know who can? Either way you have a win/win situation.
7- Build the Know- Like- Trust Factor- Building relationships is more important than collecting lots of leads. Think quality vs. quantity. Connect deeper vs. on the surface.
8- It’s More Important to Receive Business Cards than Hand Them Out- This puts you in a position to be able to follow up.
9- Consistently Follow- Up- It's not enough to have a network. Follow up and continue developing your relationships and network. Have a good reason to follow up or ask “how can I help you?"
10- Develop Advocates- Build relationships with Centers of Influence who connect with your ideal client or customer. Offer incentives for referrals or provide great benefits.
11- Be Curious- The 6 Degrees of Separation Theory states that we are only 6 people away from finding out anything we need to know. Be curious and you will be surprised at what people, resources, and information are at your finger tips.
12- Develop You- You can grow your business as big as you can grow yourself. Start there!
To shift into action choose one tip to focus on for a week and see what new results come your way. Then try on another and so on. Before you know it your networking efforts will be paving your way to success. Starting Now!
Copyright 2004 © Beth A. Tabak, All rights reserved.
Beth Tabak is a Business & Life Coach, columnist, & owner of Starting Now. She is 100% committed to coaching small business owners and professionals to grow beyond limits, and create the business and life they keep thinking about. Free informative classes, resources, ezines, and more at http://www.startingnowcoaching.com