Successful networkers identify the types of business people who make up their target market and participate in the different types of networking opportunities to reach those prospects. However, successful networking does not mean running all over town connecting with anyone who happens to be in the room. I would not recommend mass networking as it is an exhausting way to acquire new customers.
Identify the strengths you have as a business professional
Building your business is more about leveraging your strengths to meet your prospects’ needs and then networking with as many of those people as you can. What are the strengths and skills that you offer as a business professional for your target market?
- Are you a “people person”?
- Do you enjoy public speaking?
- What did you do professionally before starting your business?
- How long have you lived in the area where you do business?
- What skills do you possess beyond your business expertise, such as managing time well, staying organized, and keeping clients focused?
Identify Your Target Market
If you do not know who is your target market, how can you effectively hit your mark? Focus on who you want to be connected to and why. That might mean seeking connections from your friends and family members. It might also mean attending online networking opportunities within a 50-mile radius of your office.
Identify The Networking Opportunities To Reach Your Target Market
If you are an extroverted consultant who worked for a big insurance company before starting your own business, then insurance firms and their agents could be a logical target market. They would value your expertise and experience, and you would be able to talk in a language they understood. Furthermore, you will probably have great success in closing the deal with these prospects. Therefore, a good place to network with them would be through an insurance trade association that meets in your area. Your target audience would likely show up there in force.
If you are a people person who dabbles in public speaking. Your networking strategy should include delivering presentations at your local chamber of commerce. That is a great way to promote yourself and meet a lot of small-business owners at once.