What to Do Before You Start Networking

I met a businesswoman some time ago who approached me and asked if she could have a few minutes of my time to pick my brain because she was really having a hard time building her network.  I think the information I shared with her will likely be useful to many BusinessNetworking.com blog readers as well so today I’d like to share this video with you where I talk about what to do before you start networking.

Whether you think you’ve got your networking tactics pretty well nailed down or not, I’m willing to bet you’ll learn a thing or two from this video so take a few minutes to watch it and then ask yourself these questions:

1. Why are you in business?

– What do you love to do?
– How does your business serve others?

2. What do you sell?

– What are the benefits of your products/services?

3. Who are your customers?

– What niche do you prefer to work with?

4. What are your core competencies?

– What do you do best?

5. How well do you compete?

– How do you stand out from your competition?

Also, here’s the link to the video I made last year with Eddie Esposito of the Referral Institute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgnZuAjFGO8 and, as I mention in this video, I would love to hear your additional ideas and creative tactics for teaching people how to refer you so please share your thoughts in the comment forum below.  And, by the way, this is one of the special videos where Bob is playing his famous hide-and-seek game so for the first ten people who add to their comment where Bob makes his cameo appearance (and get the answer right) during the video, I’ll send them a surprise gift which will help them boost their networking knowledge!  (Note: To ensure you receive your gift, please e-mail your name and complete mailing address to Lransom@bni.com with the subject line “Bob.”)  I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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8 thoughts on “What to Do Before You Start Networking

  1. I would also add that you need to record your goal. What is your objective for networking? Once you are focused, you will be much more effective. Curious to know what you think of this new tool that helps structure and motivate the business networking process: http://www.networktosuccess.com. Let me know what you think!

  2. Ivan:
    This is terrific as a starter to get folks thinking about their message.Two things I might consider adding to the list are:
    “Where do you serve–location/geographical sphere” This is a question I find and an answer could be “in-state” or within a “200 mile radius of ”
    The other thing to consider if “What is your price”. You can respond to this in many ways. I like to say, “It can depend on the project, which I can quote.Did you have one in mind?”
    Alternatively, you can do as an attorney friend says, “We take on cses as contingent–if successful, we get a percentage.”
    THe key here is not to shy away from a pricing question, and be as up-front as you can.

    Great video!

  3. Really great video communicating the basics of what we do. I do recall a member in my chapter taking me by the shoulders and saying, “Trish, I want to pass you referrals — I don’t know what you do!”. What I did was online fundraising for non-profits, which I thought was so very clear. What I found made the difference in others understanding that was a specific example — a story about a client and how what we offered worked for him.

    Thank you for always keeping these fun and productive!!


    Bob is on the stairs over your right shoulder! 🙂

  4. Love this! These are the basics that we ALL need to revisit periodically. Focusing on the fundamentals is so important in any business. It makes us more effective 🙂

    I see Bob on the stairs 😉

    thank you!

  5. These are great questions that we all need to answer. If we don’t truly know our business and why we do what we do then we won’t be as effective and genuine as needed. People can see through superficiality. Bob is on the 5th stair step right above your right shoulder (taking notes!).

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