The Reasons Behind Why Networking & Building Relationships Works!
Building relationships through attending network events is a great way to promote your service and skills. It is also a great to commence building that trust factor that don’t get at first glance these days – its something you have to work on and build each time. Remember having great relationships in life, as in business, is the key to success!
Expand your circle of friends
The best way to grow your network is by speaking with friends of friends and meeting new people all the time. You never know meeting people might bring new a new connection that will boost your business network or be a high valued customer. At worst, you have made a new friend and someone that in the near future may be a good contact to have.
Break through your comfort zone
At most times, it’s a comfort thing to stick with who you know, rather than meet new people or attend a networking event and socialise with random new people. Just remember that building a successful business comes with many uncomfortable attributes that you need to undertake to grow in a positive manner. One of the most important aspects in business is being able to socialise, meet new people and communicate effectively. So, stepping out of this comfort zone and making new connections is a great asset to have in life.
Expand your horizons
At times, we feel that we have accomplished everything we possibility can. In business and in life, don’t restrict yourself. You just don’t know who you might meet that might take you and or your business to the next level that you have never imagined you could reach. Never give up on any opportunities that life throws at you especially when you are attending these networking events – you just don’t know who you might met and build a relationship with.
People buy off a referral
When you are in search of a service or product, yes you might first google and find this online, but we are forever questioning ourselves should I get them a go or should I keep searching other businesses? What we don’t realise is that most of the times we ask a friend to refer us to the person they have used in the past. People buy off other people that have been referred to them, why? because if they were good enough to undertake work or produce a product for your friend, who you trust, you will trust that this referred source will do a good job for you.
A referral is easier than cold calling
How many of you prefer to cold call people to offer them your services or product? How comfortable are you to cold call? Yes, I understand that attending networking functions can be referred to as cold calling, as you feel that you are meeting new people and promoting your business. But it doesn’t have to be looked at it this way. You attend a networking function, not with the intention of who can I flog off my service or product to but who can I meet that together we can benefit from each other’s business and or leverage off a referral scheme. Look at it this way, sometimes you meet people at your local sporting event and without knowing it through a simple conversation of them asking you what you do for a living – you begin to talk without a care in the world. You soon realise that this person you have met is in need of the service or product you produce and you have gained a new customer. Easy right! well I can assure you it is much easier than getting on a phone and randomly calling people to try and promote or service a product over the phone. A meet and greet is much more powerful than a conversation over the phone.
Networking is another way of building your brand
A cost-effective way of promoting and building your database is meeting people through a networking event. You will also get a better response when you follow up that person you physically met and arrange a meeting to discuss your product or service. Tell me if you don’t agree, then having to arrange a meeting with someone you have never met before.
Knowing the right people!
The right person you meet will determine the influence they may have on your brand, product or service you are wanting to achieve. Your personal profile will be enhanced by attending these networking functions. Being referral to a particular person by a colleague, will get you one step further than starting from scratch and meeting someone randomly. You have a friend in common, which means that that person has already introduced you to them and has spoken about you and your good intentions. The rest is up to you to continue the connection and build that relationship.
First meeting doesn’t mean done deal!
Don’t just think that because you have been referred and you meet that person for the first time that you will get the business over the line straight away. This strategy of networking takes time, patience and persistence. It simply much easier when you meet through a mutual friend or through a networking function, but you still have to build that trust, credibility of yourself and your brand for them to want to take on your service or become your client/customer.
Industry specified is a bonus but not essential
Most networking places you will attend are usually within your own industry or perhaps everyone has a common interest. Don’t be afraid to attend other networking events that you feel has no relevance with what you are doing. Don’t discard the fact that you feel that none of your target audience will be there, you just don’t know who will be attending and who you might met as to what connection you may achieve. This may be a game changer for you and your business, so take my advice and attend these networking events with an open mind!
Where to find these networking communities
A great place to start is contacting your local Business Chambers, social media group pages, or industry experts or associations. Getting the opportunity to stand up and promote yourself in a public venue is scary for most people, however if you are passionate about what you do and know your stuff, then speaking out about your business wouldn’t be hard to do. Look at it this way, when you meet someone you don’t get scared to tell them what you do for a living so why would you think this is any different?