Content provided by a guest contributor.
There is little doubt that one of the key success ingredients is to grow your business by building relationships through networking. I believe that the aggressive hard sell days belong to a different era.
One thing is to adopt the networking strategy and the other is to become a world class networker.
Now, we cannot learn the art of networking in one paragraph or from reading a couple a books. This may give some great kick off ideas. What is key to understand is that whenever you are in a group of people, always approach with an attitude of listening, getting to know others, seeing if you can help others and of course exude positivity with a smile.
Remember the “doing business comes later”. If you can get to know people and lots of them through various networking forums; large and small and have the right attitude, very few won’t want to do business with you.
Remember what we have so often have said before, “People buy from people because they like them”. That’s it. Be a nice guy, start networking and build lasting quality relationships. This will give you an abundance of ongoing quality prospects for doing great business over time.
Before I head out to any forum, I tend to remind myself of a few well known key tips. We have to prepare for any function the way we would for an important presentation. If you are not going to maximise your time effectively, why attend in the first place?
- Don’t quite blend in with the crowd. I don’t mean you have to be radical, but let’s not conform within the gathering.
- Focus on the moment and be fully engaged, this will help you stand out and will automatically give you those key necessary communication ingredients of eye contact and listening skills etc.
- Always ask powerful and meaningful questions and take a genuine interest in others.
- Importantly, always reinforce keywords in your conversation. Don’t focus on long descriptions about you and your business; simplicity and impact will set you apart.
- Create value in your interaction. Don’t just dominate the entire conversation for the sake of it. Be smart on one issue that will give you that edge. People will remember you for that. Transfer value to others, which of course create value for you.
Let’s start building our top line through effective networking.
Mike Anderson is a passionate entrepreneur focused entirely on helping small business owners to stay in business and achieve beyond the norm. This he does as founder and chairman of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) –