Give Up the Excuses and Invitestring(30) "Give Up the Excuses and Invite"

Many professionals and entrepreneurs know that whatever the current business climate might be, their networking groups are a consistent place for business referrals, resources, and support. Relationships built with like-minded people who want to help each other succeed are the ones that can sustain a business in challenging times.

I’ve heard wonderful stories from people whose investment in building strong relationships has made the difference in their business surviving and even thriving.

However, I am also surprised when those same people who say, “I love my networking group!” are often the ones who consistently attend the meetings alone. Without a visitor. Without inviting a friend to go with them.

I’m hearing a lot of excuses about why professionals who love business networking aren’t inviting other people to enjoy it, too. These are some of the excuses:
‘The economy is not good.’
‘The economy is too good.’
‘I don’t know anyone to invite.’
‘People I invite don’t show up.’

Well, guess what? I’ve been hearing the same excuses for the past 36 years! 

Why Invite People to Network with You

If you have received business from your networking groups, you KNOW the benefits of referral marketing. Remember, it’s okay to share. It’s okay to share those business opportunities with others, especially with people that you already know.

Think about every place you do business with – either professionally or personally. THEY may be looking to grow their company or increase their client base. As one of their customers, you obviously know, like, and trust them enough to give them your business, so why not invite them to meet your networking group?

There are enough business opportunities for everyone. When you embrace a Givers Gain® attitude and an abundance mindset, you know that sharing opportunities with others can bring beneficial connections, increased business referrals, and the joy of helping someone else succeed.

The Excuses

The Economy

When the economy is not good, people are struggling, they may not know where to turn to for help with their business – they need their networking group.

When the economy is good, people need their networking group because their competition is making it difficult for them to be successful. A trusted group of fellow professionals becomes a reliable source of referrals in ALL economies.

Don’t Know Anyone

Guess what? In the early days of BNI® I once said these words, “I don’t have anybody else to invite.” Well, was I wrong! A BNI Member gave me suggestions that helped me find lots of people to invite.
More ideas of who you can take to visit your networking group:
Your company’s vendors
Your company’s customers and clients
Your family and friends
Your neighbors – personal near your home, and work neighbors near your office

People you like. People who are fun. People you care about and want to help.
There are LOTS of people just waiting to meet your networking partners. Invite them.

They Don’t Show Up

“People I invite don’t show up.” That has happened to me. Yes, I’m the Founder of BNI, the world’s largest networking organization, and it has happened to me, too. It’s okay.

Dr. Mark Goulston says, “We have a lot less control over winning or losing at something than we do over trying or quitting something. Always try. You can eventually win. If you always quit, you can never win.”

This is so true. Get over the fear of rejection. Someone who says ‘no thanks’ to your invitation does not diminish your success in any way. Keep inviting. Some will say yes, some will say no. Continue inviting anyway. Keep giving people the opportunity to learn about networking.

Remember, excuses don’t bring results. You can have excuses, or you can have success.

Think back to your first visit with your favorite networking group. Think about the person that let go of their excuses and decided to invite YOU to that meeting.

Whether your business networking is in-person or online, you can extend an invitation to have someone visit the meeting with you.
Give up the excuses and INVITE. You’ll both be glad you did.

Show Up to Get More Referralsstring(29) "Show Up to Get More Referrals"

Have you ever gotten a haircut over the phone? Probably not. It is just one of those things that you have to actually be present for to get results.

It is the same with BNI® and other business groups. People join these organizations to increase their business through referral marketing. However, you have to show up at networking meetings to get more referrals and make more money.

The Effects of Being Absent

Years ago, I did a study in BNI about absenteeism. It showed that members who had fewer absences were the members that received a whole lot more business. One chapter reduced absenteeism by more than 50%. Their membership went up 55% and their referrals went up 71%!

Conversely, the study also showed that as the number of absences doubled, the amount of closed business a member generated fell by 50%. Members who think that regularly missing meetings doesn’t really matter are greatly mistaken. The data is crystal clear. You are sabotaging your own networking efforts if you pay for a membership in an organization and you don’t go to the meetings.

Building Relationships

Intellectually, we understand that it is important to build relationships, however it may not be obvious just how critical it is. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is absolutely true. It’s true in referral networking; it’s true in BNI with weekly chapter meetings, and it’s true with monthly business groups. For effective referral marketing, you have to participate – consistently participate.

Trust is built by meeting regularly, when your fellow networkers know they can count on seeing you every time. Being present at your chapter meeting helps you be top of mind and remembered by the other members during the time between the meetings. Attendance with the group is part of the process of building the relationship and is crucial for maintaining and strengthening your business relationships.

You cannot get a haircut over the phone. You cannot have a successful business group if you don’t show up. Absenteeism affects membership and referrals. High absenteeism results in low referrals. Low absenteeism results in high referrals.

It’s your choice. Miss meetings and lose business OR go to meetings and get more business. Remember, you have to show up to get more referrals.

Can You Network Too Much

Can You Network Too Much?string(25) "Can You Network Too Much?"

Before I share the answer about networking too much, I have a question for you. How many hours do you spend each week doing networking activities for your business or your job?
This is networking activity, not client appointments or cold calls. Include ALL of the different networking that you do.

Average or Beyond?

In the book, Business Networking and Sex (not what you think), my co-authors and I surveyed 12,000 businesspeople and shared the results.

We found that the average businessperson spends six and a half hours a week on their networking efforts. This includes BNI and networking group meetings, chambers of commerce, civic and service clubs.

If our goal is to be average, we have to spend six and a half hours a week. I think that eight hours a week is more effective.

Wow, 8 hours a week! At first, it might sound like a big number. We all agree that networking takes time. It takes time to plan our networking activities and it takes time to attend them. However, there is more we can do to get the MOST out of those activities.

Effective Use of Networking Time

Do you arrive early and stay after the event to talk with new people and deepen the relationships with those you already know?

Do you plan what are you going to say about your business while networking?

Do you talk about a specific part of your business with a clearly defined Target Market that others can easily identify?

Do you listen, really listen, when others share about their business, taking notes to help you find potential referrals for them?

Do you have a prepared testimonial for one of your networking partners, telling others what a good job they did for you or someone you referred to them?

Have you contacted two or three business friends to attend the networking event with you? Maybe someone who is already a good referral source for you – are they getting the benefits of business networking?

Remember to follow-up with those who will be attending the event with you. A quick call or text the day before is reassuring to them and lets them know you want them to be there.

Do you review your notes after each networking activity to see if you have a possible referral for a fellow businessperson?

If so, take action – contact those potential referrals and make the connection to your networking friend who can help them.

Do you meet with strategic networking partners outside of organized events to continue building a mutually beneficial business relationship?

How about sharing something you heard at a networking meeting on social media? Not to sell anything, just to help advertise the expertise and business of others in your group.

Are you continuously learning about effective networking skills, techniques, and opportunities? There are many resources available to those who dedicate time for their own education.

All of these suggestions can expand your networking time in effective ways to get the results you desire.

So, is it possible to network too much? The short answer is, yes; if you are spending more than eight hours a week, you might be spending a little too much. You don’t want to burn yourself out. However, you can do well with a thoughtful, intentional plan for your networking efforts.

Remember that networking is a marathon, not a sprint. We invest two things in business networking – time and money. For the best results, TIME is our major investment. Do we want average results? Or are we willing to Give more to Gain more?

Quality Relationships

Building Quality Relationshipsstring(30) "Building Quality Relationships"

Years ago, I learned that there is a correlation between the number of quality relationships and the number of referrals generated in a strong networking group. If you have a networking group of 16 members, that group has 120 relationships among all the members. However, a networking group of 32 members has 496 relationships among the members. Doubling the size of a networking group from 16 to 32 members has over four times the number of relationships. See the above graphic for an example of these relationships as chords of a circle. This video further explains this concept.

The Number of Quality Relationships Generated by the Members of a Strong Network

The number of relationships grows exponentially as the size of the group gets larger.  For example, if your networking group has 50 members, that networking group has 1225 relationships among the members. We have a few BNI chapters with 100 members. Therefore, they have 4950 quality relationships among their members. However, it is not the QUANTITY of members in your networking group that is important. What is important is the QUALITY of the relationships that you have with the members of your strong network. Growing more quality relationships in your networking group will increase the number of referrals generated by your members.

The formula: Number of Relationships = 0.5 x [(Number of members) x (Number of members – 1)] 

Quantity is good, but quality truly is king

The bottom line is that the more connections you have, (based on quality relationships of course), the more referrals you generate.  Grow your business by growing a strong network of quality relationships. For decades, I have seen groups that are twice the size of other groups in an area generate several times more referrals than their smaller counterparts.  The math is pretty significant and consistent. If you know your connections well enough to be able to call and ask for a favor–and get it–that is a powerful network.

Effective networking is about building strong relationships. If you approach the first months or year of your involvement in a networking group with the sole motivation of building relationships first by getting to know the other members well, you will be far ahead of the game. One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is that it is not really what you know or who you know. It’s how well you know them that really counts. People do business with people they know and trust. The more relationships you build with your members, the more referrals you can give to your members, and the more referrals you will receive from them.

building deep referral relationships

Get More Out of Networking by Building Deep Referral Relationshipsstring(66) "Get More Out of Networking by Building Deep Referral Relationships"

To become successful at networking, you need to be building deep referral relationships. Many people rely on referrals from others as a primary source of business. However, not everyone who relies on referrals is successful.

Many people have surface-level referral relationships.  They know just enough about a referral source’s business to get by. They probably could not tell you anything else about the business than you can read on their business card. They have not built enough social capital with their referral relationships to count on them when they need something.

Building deep referral relationships is almost completely dependent upon the social capital you have built with someone. Social capital is like financial capital. To amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal.

Building Social Capital Is the Groundwork for Future Payoff

In this video, I discuss why Building Social Capital is one of the best investments you can make to secure future success for yourself and others with whom you network.

 

Do you have a personal story about social capital similar to the one I shared in this video about Alex? Please share your story in the comments below about how you have built great social capital with someone who is now just itching to help you in any way they can.

Are You Building Deep Referral Relationships?

Before you ask for a referral, make sure you have built a deep referral relationship first by knowing the following points about that person:

  • You believe they are an expert at what they do.
  • You trust them to do a great job and take great care of your referred prospects.
  • You have known each other for at least one year.
  • You understand at least three major products or services within their business and feel comfortable explaining them to others.
  • You know the names of their family members and have met them personally.
  • You have both asked each other how you can help grow your respective businesses.
  • You know at least five of their goals for the year, including personal and business goals.
  • You could call them at 9 p.m. if you needed anything.
  • You would not feel awkward asking them for help with either a personal or business challenge.
  • You enjoy the time you spend together.
  • You have regular appointments scheduled, both business and personal.
  • You enjoy seeing them achieve further success.
  • They are “top of mind” regularly.
  • You have open, honest talks about how you can help each other further.

Referral Relationships Reality Review:

  1. What conclusions do you have about the depth of your current referral relationships?
  2. Are your relationships more or less in line with these points?
  3. What points can you improve upon to deepen your relationships?

Over the years, people have asked me to promote something for them.  It happens to me almost daily on LinkedIn. Now, I don’t want to pick on LinkedIn.  It can happen on any social media platform. The majority of those who contact me have never actually met me or had a previous conversation with me. They never invested in the relationship, yet they wanted a withdrawal from it. Please stop and do not pitch to me (or anyone) on LinkedIn.

You may be shocked at the level of personal knowledge required for building deep referral relationships. I completely disagree if you believe that referrals should be all about business. Referrals are personal. It takes a lot to develop this type of relationship. When you give a referral, you give a little of your reputation away. You need to know the person that is going to affect your reputation but those who do will certainly succeed at building a business from referrals.

Encourage Employees to Network

Five Ways to Encourage Employees to Networkstring(43) "Five Ways to Encourage Employees to Network"

Too many entrepreneurs focus on bringing in new business themselves or in tandem with the sales force but overlook their support staff as a source of referrals. Building word-of-mouth for your business is not just the responsibility of your marketing or sales department. As you might imagine, it’s far better to engage your entire staff in your word-of-mouth marketing campaign-not only at startup, but also throughout the life of your business. Here are five tips on ways to encourage employees to network:

1. Include networking in the job description for each and every employee

Often, if a new hire knows upfront that he’s expected to incorporate networking into his job, it will happen.

2. Have clear and reasonable expectations.

If your company manufactures a very obscure product, your staff might have a hard time bringing in tons of referrals. However, keep in mind that people are more important in the networking process than the type of product being sold. When you have the right person, he or she will be able to build a network around any kind of product or service.

3. Teach your staff about how to network effectively for the company.

Hold focus groups where you role-play ways to ask for referrals from other customers, friends, and family. Bring in local networking experts for in-house training. If you belong to a weekly networking group, bring your staff to those meetings one at a time so each member can see firsthand what networking can produce. This also helps your networking partners feel that they know your business better since they’ve been able to meet the people in your company.  Until you teach someone how to do something effectively, expecting them to do it well or even at all is unrealistic.

4. Motivate your staff to bring referrals to the company.

My wife once worked for a business owner who incorporated monetary bonuses into her word-of-mouth marketing expectations. For every new customer, she was given a bonus. It was a win-win arrangement for the company, as each new customer brought in revenue well above the bonus amount, and my wife felt rewarded each time one of her referrals came through the door.

Having a bonus system in place made it obvious that she would be attending chamber meetings with the boss and developing other connections in the community while passing out business cards and flyers for the company. To properly execute this idea, check with your CPA or tax preparer.

You might even establish a “networker of the month” status for the staff, using a reserved parking spot or an overnight hotel stay somewhere fun as a reward. Make the motivation something that’s relevant to your industry and, most of all, exciting to your staff.

5. Be sure your staff sees you practicing your networking skills.

Often, we as entrepreneurs don’t share with our staff the amount of time and energy we put into building and maintaining our businesses utilizing word-of-mouth marketing. I have always felt very strongly about this point. If I am going to expect my staff to do something, motivate and reward them for doing it, I better let them see me doing it as well. All too often, networking is something done behind the scenes and not necessarily in front of the staff.

One way to change this is to track how much business you brought in, as well as the staff’s numbers. Imagine the pride one competitive staff member will have when he or she breaks your number. Imagine the profits your company will realize when everyone in the company focuses on growing the business.

Networking is a group activity. Make sure to encourage employees to network and get your whole team on board with the process.

Three R's of Networking

The Three R’s of Networkingstring(33) "The Three R’s of Networking"

Do you know the Three R’s of Networking? Remember, networking is not selling. Therefore, these three are slightly different from the Three R’s’ of Selling.  Networking, however, can help you develop a successful word-of-mouth-based business. The Three R’s of Networking are Relationships, Reliability, and Referrals.

Relationships

Word-of-mouth is about “relationship marketing.” If you approach the first year of your involvement in a networking group with the sole motivation of getting to know the other members well, you will be far ahead of the game. One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is that it is not really what you know or who you know; rather, it’s how well you know them that really counts! People do business with people they know and trust.

In order for word-of-mouth marketing to work for you, you first have to build a strong foundation with the people you hope will refer you to others. That takes time, and the amount of time it takes varies from profession to profession. Obviously, some professions are much more sensitive than others to the development of referrals. So find reasons to meet with each person outside the networking meeting. Get to them, and work on having them get to know you better. Make it clear that you value your relationship with each one of them.

Reliability

For the first year or so in a networking group, you are putting in your time. Your referral partners are testing you, checking you out and making sure that you deserve to have their valuable clients and contacts turned over to you. Therefore, you must be credible to the other professionals with whom you hope to network. Bear in mind that you should feel the same way, too. Before you risk your reputation with your clients by referring them to someone who takes less care of them than you would want to be taken, you must be very sure that the person to whom you refer them is reliable! How else are you going to know that unless you use them personally over a period of time?

Referrals

After cultivating relationships and proving yourself to be reliable, you get referrals as the end result. In order for someone to receive, someone else has to give. This holds so true with referrals. I would suggest you perform a reality check to see just how effectively you are referring to the people in your networking group. You might be surprised to find how little you actually refer others, or that you consistently refer the same two or three people.

If you aren’t tracking your referrals (both given and received), it’s time to start tracking them. Look for patterns. I would anticipate that in the months following a month you were particularly active in referring others, you will find that you are receiving more referrals! I have seen the “what goes around, comes around” principle illustrated over and over in BNI, the networking organization I founded years ago.

This is a natural progression and one that can’t really be rushed. I know it can seem frustrating at times when you are anxious to see your bottom line increase quickly from all the referrals you are anticipating receiving, but believe me, if you are patient and apply these techniques, you will see word-of-mouth marketing work for you in a big way.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Making Word-of-Mouth Marketing Work for Youstring(43) "Making Word-of-Mouth Marketing Work for You"

Word-of-mouth marketing is often considered one of the oldest and most powerful forms of advertising. In fact, most business people understand that it works–they just don’t know how it works.

If you want to be successful at developing word-of-mouth for your business, you should be as organized and thoughtful about it as you are about other types of advertising and marketing. In fact, if you take this approach, eventually, you can get most of your business exclusively through word-of-mouth! The key to creating a successful word-of-mouth program lies in developing a formal plan for systematically meeting people and cultivating relationships with them. Here are ten ways for you to get your own word-of-mouth marketing program off the ground.

Avoid being a cave dweller.

Get out and meet people. Start by setting a goal for the number of appointments you’ll establish with people you wish to develop networking relationships with every week. Social capital works for everybody, not just people who set out purposefully to become networkers.

Ask for the referral.

There are specific techniques you can learn and develop that will help you hone your ability to ask for the referrals you want. One such technique is to ask “Who do you know who…?” You would then list several types of people you can help, such as someone who is new to the area, someone recently married or someone who has just started a business.

Join three networking groups.

Consciously select at least three different business or networking groups to join in the next three months. These groups might include chambers of commerce, community service groups and trade associations. When joining various organizations, make sure you select a well-rounded mix of business groups in which to participate. Try to avoid being in more than one group per category (i.e., two chambers of commerce), as this will divide your loyalties and put you in a position where you’ll be making promises to too many people.

Create referral incentives.

Develop a creative incentive to encourage people to send referrals your way. A music store owner, for instance, sends music tickets to people who refer business to him. Another example is the chiropractor who posts thank-yous on a bulletin board in his waiting area to all his patients who referred patients to him the previous month.

Learn, learn, learn for lifelong learning.

Spend time developing your networking skills. Read books and articles on networking, listen to tapes, and talk to people who network well. Networking is an acquired skill.

Act like a host.

When attending a business mixer, act like a host, not a guest. You are wasting your time at mixers if you stand around visiting with coworkers or others you already know rather than meeting new contacts and introducing them around. These events offer a great way to increase your visibility! If appropriate, ask to be the ambassador or visitor host in the organizations to which you belong. As such, it will be your official duty to meet people and introduce them to others.

Create an elevator pitch.

Invest time in developing a brief message about your business that explains what you do. What would you say? I want you to keep in mind that this is not a sales pitch; it is a creative and succinct way to generate interest in the listener. When you introduce yourself to others, use your elevator pitch. Chances are, this will help them remember you and what you do. Keeping these seven rules in mind when you create an elevator pitch will set you apart from the crowd.

Take notes and follow up.

When you meet someone and exchange cards, take a few moments to flip the card over and jot down some information about them or their business that will help you remember them and follow up with them later. This is a very simple, yet powerful, way to make a great first impression that can be developed into a mutually beneficial networking partnership. When you follow up, I recommend that you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral.

Talk less and listen more.

Remember that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them accordingly. Our success in networking depends on how well we can listen and learn. The faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a valuable relationship.

Collaborate and help others.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Helping people shows that you care. Connect with people outside of business meetings whenever possible. Drop notes, letters and articles that might be of interest to them in the mail. Call to check in with them or invite them to events you may be attending that might be of interest.

You are potentially linked to a vast network beyond your own sphere. By implementing the tactics above, you will receive benefits from that network. Maximize your opportunities to cultivate networking relationships with others, and you will see just how effective word-of-mouth marketing can be!

Business Networking Organizations

The Five Types of Business Networking Organizationsstring(51) "The Five Types of Business Networking Organizations"

Networking is the perfect way to help take your business to the next level. However, putting your eggs in one basket and depending on one networking group to satisfy all your needs won’t work. So, which business networking organizations should you join?

We all select different people in our lives that satisfy various needs that contribute to our well being; our parents provide comfort and guidance, our close friends provide support and cheer, our business relationships provide trust and honesty. While these satisfactions may overlap from group to group, it’s important to have more than one person you’re leaning on for all your emotional needs.

It’s the same with your networking groups! While you may find cheer and honesty in more than one group, it’s important to spread your interests to gain a varied support system. Business professionals who don’t have a lot of spare time often ask us which networking groups provide the biggest bang for their buck. There are five main types, and what works best depends on the business they’re in and the prospects they want to meet. Therefore, when selecting your business networking organizations, you need to understand which types are available so you can make an informed decision.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most familiar types.

The Five Types of Business Networking Organizations:

1. Casual Contact: A gathering of people from many different professions, usually in a mixer environment

2. Strong Contact: Usually only allows one person per profession, get together very regularly

3. Community Service Clubs: An opportunity to rub elbows with other very successful people

4. Professional Associations: Trade organizations that are very specific in purpose

5. Online: Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, where networking is constant

To better understand which business networking organizations fits you best, watch the video below.

 

business networking

What is Business Networking?string(28) "What is Business Networking?"

What is business networking? Let me share the true definition of networking.

“Business Networking is the process of developing and activating your relationships to increase your business, enhance your knowledge and expand your sphere of influence.”

Notice that the key word here is relationships. 

Successful networking of any kind starts with the genuine desire to build relationships for the purpose of giving and receiving business. If you are only networking to gain and not to give, you’ll never be successful.

Building Relationships should become one of the most important components of your business. You should build your business by farming not hunting. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it’s not powerful. Social capital is like financial capital. To amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal. Relationships are very much the same – referral relationships in particular. You must support and help others with their business before you can ask for their help.

Remember business networking is more about FARMING than it is about HUNTING.

It’s about cultivating relationships and taking the time and energy to help them grow and flourish. A good farmer knows when to tend to his crop and when to harvest it; if you over pick, you’ll be left with nothing. But if you continue to care for and maintain your crop, it will grow abundantly.

Let’s think of the farmers, the ones who cultivate steady, growing, genuine and authentic relationships with the people they feel are important to include in their network. They have a steady back-and-forth of interactions that benefits not only them. Everyone involved is rewarded. Why? Because the time is taken to really get to know people enough to make a relationship means that when it comes time to make a referral, it’s much easier to call upon them.

Watch this video below to hear more details about the true meaning of business networking.

How do you define “Business Networking”?

This word has become so overused that some business professionals can no longer define networking. Many people think that networking is attending social or business after-hour events, shaking a few hands, collecting a few cards, and, of course, giving away a few cards of their own. Sadly, they actually believe that’s all there is to networking. To be fair, we could say they’re engaging in social networking. That’s never to be confused, however, with business networking.

Businesspeople tend to fall into one of two groups when it comes to their views of networking. For many, the current mindset is that networking is a passive business strategy, not a proactive marketing tool. This attitude results in a scattered, often ineffective networking approach that consequently wastes the business owner’s time and money. Not surprisingly, when people feel they’ve been wasting their time and money on something, they’re understandably not going to continue that activity.

On the other hand, some proprietors do consider networking a proactive marketing tool for their business. How can you tell? They make it a significant part of their marketing and business plans. These business owners have networking goals. They may even have a budget line item for networking. Most importantly, they practice it and live it every day. They are training a sales force. Their networking team is there to keep an eye out for potential clients. If you “target talk”, that is, hone in on exactly what type of client you are looking for, better, more qualified referrals will result.

After watching the video, let us know your thoughts on the definition of business networkingDo you have a different definition or any feedback on what may be missing from the new definition of networking that we’ve provided here?  We’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments in the comments below. Thanks!

The TRUE Definition of Networkingstring(33) "The TRUE Definition of Networking"

What is the true definition of business networking? I’m going to give it to you straight.

Networking is the process of developing and activating your relationships to increase your business, enhance your knowledge and expand your sphere of influence. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Notice that the key word here is relationships. Successful networking of any kind starts with the genuine desire to build relationships for the purpose of giving and receiving business. If you are only networking to gain and not to give, you’ll never be successful.

Remember-networking is more about FARMING than it is about HUNTING. It’s about cultivating relationships and taking the time and energy to help them grow and flourish. A good farmer knows when to tend to his crop and when to harvest it; if you over pick, you’ll be left with nothing. But if you continue to care for and maintain your crop, it’ll grown abundantly.

Watch the video below to hear more details about the true meaning of business networking.

This video is hosted by the Entrepreneur.com YouTube Channel, Networking for Success.

 

It’s actually NOT about who you knowstring(42) "It’s actually NOT about who you know"

When it comes to networking, the old adage goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” We’ve all heard it and we’ve probably all said it.

But I’m here to tell you it’s NOT about who or what you know, but about how well you know each other!

Networking can become a shallow game if you treat relationships like chess pieces, using them for you own best advantage. Instead, if you approach networking from a personal angle with a genuine desire to get to know others, you’ll have far greater success. But how can you deepen your existing relationships with people to get to the point where they’d be willing to help or refer you in the future?

1. Give them a personal call. I know, I know–calling someone on the phone is so dated. But hear me out. Sending an email or a text message won’t get you the same results as actually making the effort to pick up the phone and call someone. Set up a 1-2-1 meeting and DO NOT try to sell them. Set up this meeting to deepen the connection and start to build a professional relationship.  ID-100209414

2. Make personal calls to all the people who have helped or referred you business to you in the past. Ask them how things are going. Try and learn more about their current activities so you can help in some way.

3. Put together a “touch-point list” of fifty people you’d like to stay in touch with this year. Include anyone who has sent business your way in the past twelve months as well as any other prospects you’ve connected with recently. Send them cards on the next holiday, connect with them on social media, and stay connected in any other way you believe they are most interested in.

4. Two weeks after you’ve connected with them (from step 4) call them and see what’s going on. if they’re past clients or people you’ve talked to before, now is the perfect time to ask for a referral. If they’re prospects, perhaps you can set up an appointment to have coffee and find out if their plans might include using your services.

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