Posted on February 10, 2011
Networking with Value
So you’re off to another networking event to meet people to grow your business. Why? Because that is what you heard you have to do.
Not quite. Your primary focus in networking should be to meet other individuals that you generally like, with the end goal of helping them grow their business. That might sound counter-intuitive but by helping others, you will help yourself. For example, who would you prefer to send your leads to:
- the person who shoves their card into your hand, recites their infomercial without hesitation and then closes with “Do you have any referrals for me?”
- the person who introduces themselves professionally and asks what you do for a living, how you do it and how they can help you grow.
Not much to think about, right? Offering your services to others is a great way to build your business because it simply helps people to like you. And business, at its most basic level, is done between people that generally like each other. No one honestly thinks to themselves, “well that mortgage guy I know is a real scam artist but I’ll have my friend call him anyway.” Be like-able, honest, willing to help and watch your network grow!
To help bring more value to your network, here are my top 5 pointers:
- Offer something for free (a consultation, educational material, educational event)
- Ask how you can help them in their business.
- Make a referral…quickly. This will also help them to remember you.
- Keep them talking…about themselves. People love to talk about themselves and this gives you a chance to learn about the new person in your network.
- Be positive. People love positivity and will remember you (and thank you!) for it.
I also want to note that social media networking is no different. You are introducing yourself, creating relationships and helping others grow their business. Think of it this way…each social media network is a different “event” for you to meet people and the Internet just facilitate it all. That is a high level description but if that doesn’t reduce your fear of social media marketing, let me know because I am here to help.