If you don’t network for business, you must be out of touch or out of your mind.
Networking is more than a buzzword. People hear about networking, start attending networking meetings and events and expect immediate results. Sorry to pop your bubble, but it doesn’t happen that way. There is seldom any “over-night” successes reported from networking.
Effective networking takes sustained and focused effort. Which, in my opinion, is why many people get involved in networking only to quickly determine that it doesn’t work. Why? Occasional participation rarely works, because it takes this kind of commitment – sustained and focused effort – to create awareness for you and your business, and to build long-term business relationships that lead to the kind of collaboration that nets results. You must be committed to enthusiastic involvement in whatever group or event you choose. This kind of involvement inevitably gains attention and over time will work best to the benefit of everyone. It’s the only way to substantially increase support and referrals.
Business networking – like any other business activity – requires concentrated effort to produce results. One of the best things about networking is its unbeatable potential for exposure. Combine it with Facebook, Google+, Twitter and awareness of others to you grows exponentially. How do you draw the line between social and professional networking? It always comes down to face-to-face contact and how how you conduct yourself in the presence of others as to whether there is a possibility of a continued relationship.
Present yourself in a way that has you stand out in the crowd. Never be afraid to be different!
Find a networking group and stay with it. It will put a face to your business and give your business a presence outside of it’s physical place. A weekly group seems to work best – 52 meetings a year. Sound like a lot of meetings? It is. Remember, effective networking takes sustained and focused effort. That kind of participation allows people to really get to know you. As time passes and the group grows, so will your business. It will help you build social capital – the value that you and your networking contacts bring to the party.
If you don’t go to the business networking groups to create new relationships, develop new partnerships, and demonstrate a genuine interest in what resources are available to you, what is the point? There is none. Go with the intent of rubbing elbows other people who are also driven, have ideas that can be implemented into business opportunities, are resourceful, energetic, and ambitious. In addition, target potential resources and to leverage resources that may lead to a real opportunities. To learn from and to be motivated by others in your network. The key is in the “LEARNING!”
Networking is an effective, friendly platform for growing your business where like-minded people meet to inspire, share experiences, strengthen and grow through trusted relationships and a steady stream of business referrals.
Here is an important tip to remember: Never confuse networking with selling. They are not synonymous.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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