Does networking yield the results you want? Business networking has been around since the beginning of time. I have never really understood the purpose of networking events. Plus it’s rare that your target audience attends these events.
Here’s my beef:
Your success depends on your ability to interact with people seeking to achieve many of the same things you want. Finding leads, customers, contacts, people who want what you offer.
Traditional networking mixes groups of professionals who may have nothing in common. Everyone is at a different level and playing a different game.
If you find yourself filling your calendar with networking events, consider this. Focus on contacting existing or previous clients/customers and building a relationship. Learn more about them. You may be shocked how they might help.
Example of one-on-one networking
You sell your delicious preserves at the farmers market. You examine who is buying your product. One of your customers is a lovely lady who owns a beachside Bed and Breakfast. The relationship is lukewarm, involving a simple order and delivery.
You strike up a conversation with her and learn she belongs to an Innkeepers Association. You ask about the group. Are they open to receiving information about your business and product?
If you sold to her, is there a possibility you can sell to others?
Spending time networking is one way to share the knowledge. But it helps to get focused on who can help you build your business. Do you know your customers? Do they engage with influencers who can help you sell your product? Those who are willing and able to pay the price you’re asking for your product; and see the value you offer.
- Ask probing, yet non-evasive questions.
- Send out a survey to learn about them and their industry.
- Are customers using your product for personal or professional reasons or something else?
Bear in mind, if your customer is purchasing from you, their circle of influence may be of the same mindset. Start there and work to develop a relationship. This will not occur overnight, but it works for those who work it. Your focus is honest, authentic engagement.
Bear in mind, if your customer is purchasing from you, their circle of influence may be of the same mindset. Start there and work to develop a relationship. Click To Tweet
Share your networking strategies.