One of the most important activities in growing a business is growing relationships. Many people think they can go out to networking events, hand their cards out and the business will come flowing in. Sometimes it may happen like that, but usually it’s unlikely. It takes time, energy and effort to build a network. Through building that network you build relationships with people who know you, trust you and will do business with you.
How to kill potential business relationships through networking!
Imagine this example. I was at a networking event where I witnessed two men that had no clue what networking was all about. The first gentleman walked up to me, introduced himself, asked my name and proceeded to tell me what he did and how it could help me. He then left to talk to someone else. The second gentleman came up, introduced himself but didn’t bother to get my name, gave me promotional information about what he was selling and then quickly went off to talk to someone else.
Neither of these men would remember me if I called them, and I have no idea if they are people I like or trust, so naturally there isn’t a chance I will do business with them!
Networking like this is a waste of time. Unless you’re willing to build your network, get to know the people, and perhaps see how you can help them, you might as well stay at home.
Never limit networking just to business
Networking isn’t just for people who run their own businesses. All of us have a network of people we depend on. We might use their services, get referrals from them and ask for assistance when seeking a job.
I call this cross-pollinating, and we all do it. It is vitally important that we build relationships with the people in our network so that we can obtain good tips and advice. If you neglect your network you might find yourself without resources or references when you most need them.
Be a ‘giver’ in your business relationships
Networks are important to your success. To have a useful network you must build and nurture the relationships and focus on how you can help your network before you consider taking from it.
Zig Ziggler advises that the best way to build your business is to help someone else build theirs. Put simply, givers get. You don’t just take from your network; you also give to it. The secret is the more you invest in and give to your network, the more you will get back.
What experiences have you had with networking? Have their been times, either professionally or socially, where you’ve felt lost and confused after initially meeting a new person? How could it have gone better, and what can you learn from these experiences to take forward yourself?
Let us know today!
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