Relationships! That’s where you begin. People only do business with people they like and trust. No relationships – No referrals! You must KNOW these close relationships! Really know them. Networking is not about how many sales you can make. It’s about starting at the beginning – the introduction to someone new and then working the relationship until you become close business friends. That’s when the business referrals will begin to come to you.
When you talk to other networkers, make it clear that you want to help in whatever way you can and that their business sincerely matters to you. Every connection has to be heartfelt, or it won’t work.
One thing I know for sure. I know that collaboration between networkers in networking meetings and outside of the meetings is a principle driver of creativity, innovation and, therefore business advantage. Continue to build your network outside of the meeting. Failure to invest in collaborative techniques will greatly hamper your networking productivity.
I also know that to get recognized and noticed as a professional networker you must do things that help others before you can ever expect them to do things like passing along a referral to you. If you help people out when they need assistance, then people will help you out too. When you take the time to build and nurture relationships with the people around you, you’ll build a network of “allies” who will help you when you most need it. You call attention to yourself by paying attention to others.
Do you really know the people in your network? I mean, “really” know them? We all need to dig a little deeper. Be on a crusade to develop closer business and personal relationships with those in our network. Schedule follow-up meetings to visit their office, read their flyers, and really get to know them personally and professionally. Carry their business cards with you in a large business card holder so you can be ready in case an opportunity to share their work with your friends outside of your network shows up. Professional networkers make friends easily… close friends. The closer the connection, the better networking works!
“There is no greater reward then helping others help themselves.” ~ Larry James
We all need to get to know those friends that are in our networking circle much better. We need to focus on “them.” We all need to dig a little deeper. We need to get to the good stuff about our networking friends. We need to get excited about knowing more about the people we are connected to. We need to learn more about their businesses so we can truly get excited enough about them and their business that we can’t help but want to share about them with our friends. After all, isn’t that what networking is really about… building close business relationships that support each other? You can’t do that if you think networking is always about selling “your” services to others and getting business leads. Networking is about giving.
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
Copyright © 2015 – 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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