Does Your Networking go beyond Coffee and Cakes Catch-Up?
It’s commonly accepted that Networking is the key to successful business growth….building relationships and the all powerful: it’s WHO you know, not neccessarily what!
So what is there really to it, Networking, I mean?
Exchanging business cards, putting someone new on to your mailing list…catching up at the next event…is that it?
I think you know there’s more to it
When I recently attended a networking function it was exciting getting a small gift from every business member of that organisation. I collected a big bag full of great things to read and use…shook hands at every stall and was quite taken by so much generosity…
So then what happened…?….NOTHING much…from the nearly 100 or so attendees who so generously handed over gifts only 2 or 3 send an email through…nothing personal, just some offers…a re-cap of the offer made at the function…that’s it
How do you create a strong connection?
When you are out networking, and particularly spend on gifts to members and non members at an event, are you doing that with a purpose in mind?
The purpose of networking is to create relationships…to create a relationship in a business environment is much like any other relationship:
In order to get to know the person you make the time to exchange information, ask them questions to better understand them, who they are and what they have to offer
One of the things that makes the real difference in building relationships that
will advance you personally, professionally and your business is being authentic in creating relationships
Giving me gifts was great…I loved many of the people there…but no one bothered to actually interact with me further…so I have to take that in hand myself! (or not!)
Creating and maintaining relationships is what networking is all about…only when you trust someone will it be easy to buy of them and refer them to others…
The BNI Networking system has all the elements in place and when implemented as intended creates an ongoing flow of new business for you…BUT it requires an ongoing committment from you!
So when you plan your next networking event attendance, work out before hand what you’d like to achieve
Set about putting things requried for that goal in place
Follow up and create relationships
Keep nurturing those relationship
Have a Happy Networking Week!
Sigrid de Kaste, Stickybeak Marketing