One of the success secrets many business owners miss is the idea that as you grow your network you will grow your business. Networking is a powerful tool and something that can help you meet the people that will help you build your team, make more sales and ultimately, help you increase your income.
I work with people who own all kinds of businesses. Through my own experience I have learned that networking is a tool you can’t replace and brings benefits you can’t get any other way.
Why Networking is so Powerful
The adage that people do business with friends has been around for a long time for a reason. When it comes down to it, we trust our friends, want to help our connections out and often look for solutions within our circle of acquaintances before we go elsewhere.
In home based businesses including network marketing, success often comes down to who you know. This isn’t to say that business strategy, planning, hard work and dedication don’t pay off. It just means that people are what make your business successful and networking will help you get in touch with those people.
As your network grows, so do your opportunities. When you get to know more people, you are exposing your business to a wider audience and even tapping into potential sales leads.
There’s another benefit that comes with networking: finding valuable talent. As your business grows, so will your team. Networking is an excellent way to find people that can help your business grow and that have the talents and experience your team needs to reach its fullest potential.
Where do I Start?
People you Already Know
I always tell people to start networking with the people you know. You may not realize just how many professional connections you have. Think of all the people you have met at conferences, events, trainings and through social activities and hobbies. You probably already know a lot of people.
Start connecting with these people online and in person. I recommend using LinkedIn to organize your contacts and do some networking. Get back in touch with people you haven’t spoken to for a while and go to lunch, invite them to events or just catch up through email.
People you Meet Day to Day
As a home-based business owner or network marketer, you brush shoulders with people on a regular basis. Start looking at the people you come into contact with as networking opportunities and work to strengthen relationships with them.
Whenever you meet someone new, trade contact information and then follow up soon after with an email or an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Foster a relationship by keeping in touch, forwarding helpful information and inviting new contacts to lunch or to an event.
Don’t miss out on formal networking opportunities. Mixers, trainings, conferences, association events, local business events and other formal networking opportunities can give you a chance to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with.
People at these events are there to network, so reaching out to new people and trading contact information is expected. Sometimes it’s easier to strike up conversation at networking events, where everyone is there to get to know each other.
Word of Mouth
One of the great things about networking is that it lets you use word of mouth to build your business. As you get to know people they can introduce you to their contacts and help you spread the word about your business when they feel you can benefit their friends.
The trick to making this happen is being willing to refer your contacts to others. As you meet people, be willing to introduce them to people you know when you think both parties could benefit from an introduction. When you do this, your contacts will know you welcome this kind of networking and be willing to return the favour.
There’s no question that networking is one of the most valuable things you can do for your business. As you meet new people, foster relationships and grow your network, your business will have opportunities it didn’t have before.
Networking will help you open more doors and even help you promote your business in more places or recruit valuable team members that can accelerate your business’ growth. If you’re interested in learning more ways to grow your business, contact me for a one-on-one appointment.