Likewise… don’t wait until you are desperate for business before you begin networking.
The odds against instant gratification are slim when you begin. You probably ought to get use to delayed gratification because networking will teach you patience.
SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t happen like that!
Networking is… using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals… expecting nothing in return! ~ Larry James
Remember, networking and selling DO NOT mix! Think of yourself as a solution-finder, rather than a sales person. Be of assistance to others. “How can I help you?” is a great question to ask everyone you meet.
If you are serious about making business networking work for you, you must build relationships. That’s really what makes networking work! Developing close relationships take time. Seldom will anyone risk their reputation by giving you a referral or referring you after first meeting you. My friend, Tom Hopkins reminds us that people do business with people they like and trust. I may like you upon first meeting you but trust is quite another story. That takes time too.
It’s important to “make” time to really get to know the people in your network. Book breakfasts, lunches, visits to each other’s places of business. Spend time with them. Ask lots of questions. That’s how relationships begin. When enough time passes you will learn more about them as a person, their business, their likes and dislikes and you will begin to know them well enough to make some headway with referrals.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. 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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