As an Entrepreneur, I believe in the power of professional networking. You never where you will go in business and in life by meeting “new” people. Referrals can make up 80-90% of new business revenues. Networking is process that you need to hone in order to be successful and get those referrals.
Networking is about connecting with people, building and nurturing relationships. With networking you are sharing information, finding new job resources, exploring new career opportunities, and expanding your contacts.
Networking is about connecting with people, not collecting people. You need to build, nurture, and maintain quality mutually-beneficial relationships. This is so true for me, because when I teach small business owners the importance of being on and using LinkedIn, I explain this to them. Your goal on LinkedIn is to meet potential business partners, clients, customers, etc. by engaging in conversation and helping them. Not by simply collecting names for your Rolodex.
This past week, I exported my entire LinkedIn connection list into Excel. I printed this list that contained names, email addresses, companies and titles so that I can reach out to my network and pursue some business opportunities. If you are not using LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), I would highly recommend it.
Networking & Business Tips for everyone:
- Practice Networking tips by attending different types of networking events. You will meet new and interesting people and contacts, learn how to interact professionally, and promote your products/services.
- Be nice to everyone you meet. Don’t burn any bridges and be genuinely nice to everyone.
- Be Giving. Give your time, advice, and referrals. Positive karma and business opportunities will always come back to you.
- Keep in Touch/Follow Up: Maintain regular and consistent contact with people in your network. You could use Social Media, Email Marketing, Send Out Cards, Networking events, and good old’ fashion telephone calls.
Build Rapport. Are you a people magnet? Make sure others see you as a positive/friendly person they would like to do business with.