Business networking, or network marketing, can be a gold mine for home-based entrepreneurs, small business owners and independent agents. It is relatively easy to do, fit into your schedule and more affordable than the cost of direct mail or print advertising.
What is business networking? It is a marketing strategy with far reaching benefits from publicity to business development and increased sales. It is a process where business people come together with a mutual intent–to build business by building business relationships.
How does business networking lead to your success? The short- and long-term goals of business networking are similar turn the business relationships into referrals–to you as well as from you. Referrals are leads, potential customers. Each potential customer can become a client or lead to more referrals. Are you getting the picture? Introducing yourself to one person in a network group is often compared to introducing yourself to 250 potential customers (based on the assumption that everyone knows at least 250 people).
Before attending a business networking event prepare and rehearse a 30-60 second business commercial (introduction) and professional-looking marketing materials. At the very least you want to take plenty of business cards to exchange. Finally, adopt the attitude of giving to receive. When the event is over, plan a follow up strategy to continue networking with the people you meet. Remember, you are building relationships to build your business.
Networking for success is about quality, not quantity. Take time to listen to each other. Exchange business contacts, information and ideas to build respect and trust. In doing so, the likelihood of leads turning into customers giving testimonials can be exponential.