This is a question I ask people quite often. I believe, if you are not aware of why you network, your outcome will not be what you are hoping and wishing to achieve.
Is your reason to become a better networker for career building, developing a higher profile, earning more money/financial gain or to gain influence in your community, job or business network?
This is an important question. If you understand why you are networking, you will find that you will have a clearer vision of what you want.
By not understanding this and what you expect to gain, you will not move forward. Word-of-mouth marketing has been around forever and is a powerful way to build your business. I believe, done correctly, it is the best way to build the relationships and business you want for the future.
If for you, networking becomes a natural way of life, it becomes the most successful way to do business. It is necessary for you to learn the basics if you wish to be successful though. It is all about relationship building. You will find that after a while you don’t even think about what you are doing. Networking should always be a win-win for all parties, so always repay appropriately favours extended to you.
Remember, when you give a referral, notify the receiver and the person who is being referred so they are both on the same page. I find email the easiest and quickest way to do this. It is important to give information as to why you are referring the person so that both are aware of what has been passed on. This helps both sides to have more of an idea of the relationship with the referrer. Always make it clear what your relationship is with the person you are referring, for example, they are a client, a personal friend, someone I feel that you will have a synergy with, you have or haven’t done business with them etc.
One of the most important things to remember is that you need to be seen, become known and move into the marketplace that is appropriate to you, at your own pace, always keeping in mind why you are doing it. Attend one or two specific networking groups and become known as a ‘regular’. People then perceive you as stable, reliable and trustworthy will then do business with you. It is important you find your niche market, so the types of events you attend must be appropriate for your needs.
Remember, that the people you are looking to do business with are looking for you too!
Copyright © 2011 Jennie Gorman