Best Networking Tips for 2015
Networking is one of the most powerful ways to build your business. Networking allows you to be seen and heard by more businesses and to create a sales force. But you really need to do it the right way! Here are 7 tips for better networking in 2015.
1. Know who you want. How can someone give you good referrals if you don’t know exactly who you want? Who is your ideal client? The more specific you can be and share, the more likely you will get qualified referrals.
2. Go where your best customers and prospects go. Do you sell or market your services to a specific industry or group? Make sure you go to the networking events that that specific group goes to.
3. Give value first. Be known as a resource. If your product is marketing, you could provide ‘5 Tips for Maximizing Your Online Profile’ eBook. Or if you are a human resources consultant, give tips on the best recruiting strategies to use online. Create some white papers, eBooks, articles etc. that you can give to prospects, clients, and networking partners.
4. Dig in and be committed. Those that show up go up! By being consistent, your networking partners get to know, like and trust you. They get to hear more about your business and what a good referral is for you. And you get the opportunity to learn what they do (so you can refer).
5. Be consistent. Once you get involved, seek a leadership position and give value to the group. Even if it’s not a true leadership position, choose to give your time and efforts. People will notice and appreciate it. And it’s just another way to be seen as a valuable resource.
6. Get to know people on a friendly basis. Schedule 1 on 1’s. Going to the meetings and events is very important. But you also need to schedule 1 on 1 meetings with people in your networking group. This gives you a chance to really get to know them personally and find out more about how to help them. Again, it’s all about the KNOW, LIKE & TRUST factor!
7. Go slow. Relationships are built over time with trust and value. Don’t try to rush the relationship. Don’t hard sell your network on your product/service or on the fact that you need referrals. Show up, provide value, listen, remind your partners what you do and educate them on your ideal client.
So get out there and get networking. As H. Jackson Brown Jr says “Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” By Robyn E Hatfield