Is this the year you will become a Successful Networker?

networking-eventIn a previous blog, we discovered three key steps to be memorable and build a valuable network:

  • connect,
  • be of service, and
  • follow-up.

Networking takes time, and with a strategy it can generate the results you want.  To generate business through networking, be intentional in your interactions.

Key # 1:

Know why you network.

Here’s five reasons why people network, and some key questions to ask yourself before you step inside. Why do YOU network?

  1. Connect with potential clients.  
Do you want to grow your client base?
  2. Connect with other business owners.  
Do you want to find like minded entrepreneurs to connect and discuss business with?
  3. Connect with suppliers.  
Do you want to expand your network of suppliers to improve reliability and cost of your inputs?
  4. Connect with strategic partners.  
Do you want to find alliances and strategic partners in other businesses so you can support and grow your client base together?  Here are some valuable partnerships:
    – a realtor connecting with a mortgage broker and a lawyer.
    – a landscaper connecting with a plant nursery and an irrigation supply company.
  5. Connect with mentors.  
Do you want to find someone who has different business experience to support you as you grow your business?

Key # 2:

Know who you want to connect with. 
When you decide to attend an event, set a clear intention for yourself about who you would most like to connect with.  When you are at the meeting, it will be clear in your mind who you would like to approach and get to know better.  It will also give you a chance to think about what questions you would like to ask them as you determine how you can be of service to your new connection.

Key # 3:

Know your ideal next step BEFORE you attend the event. 
Be clear on what the ideal next step is for you when you meet the people who you want to connect with.  If it is a potential new distributor for your products, suggest you meet them at their location to learn a bit more about how they do business.  If it is a mentor or business colleague, coffee plans might be a good way to get to know each other.  If it is a new supplier, you may want to learn more about their quality and assurance standards.

Networking is a valuable tool to grow your business.  When you engage in intentional interactions, your results are maximized.

Please comment below if you found this valuable and share the results you’ve experienced.  I can’t wait to hear how this impacts your growth!
Meaghan

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