Are You Networking Successfully?
Networking can be successful if done correctly, however, most people do it incorrectly, primarily because they misunderstand the real purpose. Many folks think that Networking is about selling, and it’s not! When you network, it is about developing relationships that build good Referral Sources. I don’t go to Networking events to listen to everyone’s sales pitch. I go to Networking events to meet other business professionals. A sales pitch is great at a “Swap Meet”, or a County Fair, to use on everyone as they meander up and down the “Mid-Way” looking for something to do. Not at a Networking event!
Selling creates an atmosphere of unnecessary pressure that few people appreciate. Network to engage people in meaningful conversations. Get to know them and give them a chance to know you. The more you network, you will find out if you like them and they will find out if they like you. Remember that to “Know, Like & Trust” someone is foundational in developing your own Network of reliable Referral Sources. That is what successful networking is all about. When you spend the time to network and really get to know other professionals, it will become second nature to you. Your sales will increase. It will also increase your circle of influence. The other business professionals you meet are comfortable with you, therefore, wanting to refer your business or services. That is the whole point! Sales Pressure is the primary source of rejection at networking events. Stop Selling, just Network!
Use Networking events to Network
Meet new people to expand your circle of influence. Get to know these acquaintances better, so they can become Referral Sources someday. Touch base with your trusted Sources. That could just be a wave from across the room, or a smile to acknowledge to see them. This may be sufficient and all that’s needed to let them know you appreciate them. If time allows, give them a hug or a hand shake, that is more personal and can be very effective. Keep those relationships fresh and current.
As the saying goes, “You can’t have too many friends”. In Business, “You can’t have too many reliable and trusted Referral Sources.” How many times have you gone to a movie, eaten at a restaurant, used a plumber, or tried a new App, just because someone recommended it to you? That’s the reality and beauty of Networking, it’s not about Selling. The more you Network, the more comfortable and natural it will become. Be yourself, be friendly and approachable. If Select Marketing can help you with your business, contact us.
updated July 2022