Do you consider yourself a networking expert or are you relatively new to the game? Most people agree networking is essential to growing a business, and more than likely, those same people will tell you that they should be doing more. But where does one begin?
To successfully use networking to grow your business, you need to commit to making networking an ongoing activity that is a consistent part of your growth plan. The more consistent you are, the more predictable your results will be.
If you’ve ever gone to an event with the hope of networking, then find yourself without a single connection at the end of the event because no one spoke to you? If so, it’s time to change your networking strategy.
Instead of viewing networking from the perspective of how you can benefit by connecting with a person or company, try turning the tables and approach a connection from the perspective of what you can do for them. Begin a conversation with “how can I help you?” rather than focusing on what you need.
It’s an excellent icebreaker and moves your conversation in a meaningful direction rather than to small talk that’s easily forgotten. To learn more about this approach to networking, consider reading Endless Referrals by Bob Burg.
Other networking resources include online sources such as meetup.com, business seminars and professional organizations, and channel partners (any business that services the same clients as you and is open to working together). We’ll explore these resources in more detail with other articles.