Are you interested in generating endless referrals or meeting new potential business contracts?
How well and how often do you network? Most people are a born natural networker or they shy away. What is your tendency?
What is networking? Networking is a life skill. As the networking Queen Robyn Henderson tells us there are three universal laws that form the foundations to ethical networking.
1) Giving without expectation – the basic principle of helping others without an expectation of receiving something in return
2) Understanding the law of reciprocity – what you give comes back ten fold
3) Having an abundance mentality – in our time poor, competitive society, abundant thinkers are often in short supply. Ethical networkers have an underlying belief system that there is plenty for everyone
Networking can be done on many scales. Most commonly networking is done one on one or in groups. Obviously, group networking allows greater leverage and is more time effective.
Networking has become globally the number one business building tool.
Talking to people, meeting with people and looking after your clients or perspective customers is what sells your business. Responding to customer needs, showing you are genuine and that you care allows trust and creditability to form.
Networking can open opportunities for business growth or it allows you the opportunity to refer others. When referring others risks are involved so when you refer others do make sure they do not let you down. If you recommend an organisation or a person and they do not follow up you can be left feeling embarrassed or placed in a difficult situation. To avoid this happening ensure you follow up with whom you refer to make sure they do not let you down. It is also advisable that you know the organisation or person you recommend and be very confident that they are very good at what they do.
Places you can network to name a few include conferences, seminars, industry specific events, travelling on aeroplanes, eating out, membership groups and even on line using social media. Always carry your business card so you can easily exchange contact details.
Here are 7 HOT Tips of Networking:
1) Look the person in the eye when talking to them and don’t turn away or loose eye contact when others walk past – be engaged
2) Tell compelling stories or share interesting experiences
3) Don’t over indulge with alcohol
4) Don’t talk about yourself ask the person questions or their opinions about non-controversial topics
5) Engage first then later discuss what you do and how you can help
6) Don’t be nervous, it shows. Be yourself and act naturally – just be you
7) Avoid gossiping, putting others down or being too direct
Be bold and courageous make an extra effort to attend functions you are invited to and go network. You just never know who you are going to meet.
Happy Networking, Dijana Green.