Networking Tips to Build Your Business
How to Go From Awkward to Awesome!
Networking goes hand in hand with running a successful business.
But many of us dread walking into a room and introducing ourselves to a bunch of strangers.
It’s easy to see why.
For those of us who are not natural extroverts, networking events can be painful. It’s hard to be in a crowded room with no one to talk to. It’s awkward and disconcerting to say the least.
When most people think about networking it seems insincere at best — and selfish at worst. This, of course, is the complete opposite of what networking is supposed to be — friendly, useful, and genuine.
Sure… it’s easy to be friendly and useful with people we know. But because networking is a “business activity” it’s easy to think that we need to act differently while doing business.
Unfortunately, most networking strategies come across as pushy, needy, or self-serving — even though the people using them rarely act that way in day-to-day life.
Don’t worry, there are definitely genuine ways to self–promote. So, in the spirit of helping everyone become a better networker, here are some networking tips, which actually work.
As you’re networking, concentrate on helping other people –
You want your focus to be totally on helping others without expecting anything in return, not asking them to help you. Provide value first, build the relationship, and then maybe you’ll get something in return.
Forget about yourself completely. Concentrate on their needs. It’s your job to understand the people in your network, where they are coming from, and what’s important to them.
Don’t expect anything –
Reach out with curiosity. Contact interesting people and just see what happens. Some will respond and some won’t. Learn about the people you meet. Find out what makes them interesting and how you can help them. But don’t expect anything in return.
Ask easy questions –
Don’t wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. If you’re not a natural extrovert, you’re probably a very good listener – and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.
Ditch the sales pitch –
Networking is about relationship building. Work on keeping your conversation fun, light and informal. The idea is just to get the conversation started. People are more likely to do business with those they know, like and trust, so just work on the relationship.
If someone does ask about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company or your product, and then turn the conversation back to them.
Networking on Facebook –
Facebook has really opened up a whole new world. As in person, Facebook is not a place to push your business on others. It is still all about the relationship. Be sure you have having positive interactions with the people you meet. Spend time building the relationship, and then you can make the proper invitation if it makes sense when the time is right.
Keep track of everyone you ever meet –
Keep a log of everyone you ever meet or interact with. A good Customer Relationship Manager will be really helpful here. Record their names and important information like: email, address, birthdays, and how you met them and what you talked about. Every time you make contact with them, log it.
You will be amazed at how quickly your network will grow when you’re keeping track. This will be your MOST VALUABLE asset in your business going forward. You don’t have to be perfect at organization… just keep track.
Stay in touch with your network –
Make sure that you have some type of contact with your network at least 3 to 4 times per year. Birthday cards, handwritten notes and gifts, phone calls just to see how that are doing, emails and facebook messages just to say “Hi” are all wonderful ways to stay in touch. This is incredibly important to your business as it is crucial that you nourish your network!
Connect your network to each other –
One of my mentors suggested this to me and it really works! Once or twice a week I always try to introduce people in my network to each other. I try to find people in the same niche or business and just make an email or Skype introduction. It just takes a few minutes each week and it shows that you really care about the people you interact with. It also has a side benefit… many people you do this with will also introduce you to their network!
If you want to start or grow any type of business, networking is really a skill that you want to develop. In fact it may be the MOST important activity for a long-term business. You never know when things will change in your life. If you build a large network, you will always have something to help you out of the hard times or inspire you to greatness.
If you would like to be a better networker and are looking for a business that is fun and profitable… something that can be done online or offline… check out the video below:
…fill out the form below, and follow the simple steps. It’s working for me, and thousands of others out there online.
And, if you already have a business you’re happy with, I will still cheer you on!
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Let’s have some conversation!
By Lynn Huber
p.s. You don’t need to be a master to start building your network. Just taking a moment to reach out is a big step that will help most people. Sharing useful information and connecting like-minded people are simple actions that everyone will appreciate.
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