Sunday, June 7, 2009

Networking For Success

Did you know that a big part of your business success comes from networking with other business owners?

Being a lone ranger never helped anyone succeed. There are sure to be people out there who know more than you do and you can tap into their vast knowledge and connections through networking.

How Do You Network?

Networking doesn't have to be difficult but there are some hard and fast rules to follow:
  • Join social networks as well as attend offline networking events where you can network with individuals in a similar field of business as yours

  • When speaking with other entrepreneurs and business owners, put your agenda and ulterior motives on hold. Learn to genuinely listen to what others have to say. You'll get your chance to speak about your business and when you do, be direct, polite and passionate about what you have to offer.

  • Always see if there is a way you can help the person you are conversing with. By that, I don't mean just asking how you can help. I mean listening to what it is they are looking to do in business and searching your own mental database to see if there is something you can contribute to help them achieve. If there is, then offer up your advice, help or service.

  • Always exchange business cards. An even better idea is to have a brochure about your business. Sometimes your business card gets lost in the shuffle but a brochure will stand out from the rest.

  • Follow up with those you have met. Even if you are not planning to do business with them, it's a good idea to keep lines of communication open. You never know when someone they may know may be interested in a product or service you have to offer. If you follow up, you may meet new contacts.
Taking the time out to network with others is not only extremely helpful for growing your business but it's also a great way to make friends and socialize outside of your normal circle of friends and family. For the next few postings I'll talk a little about some popular social networking sites.

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