12 Networking Tips to Success

1- Learn the Needs of Others then be Generous Filling Those Needs- Can your business fill their needs? If not, who do you know who can? Or what referral, resource, advice, or information can you provide? Either way it is a win/win (and sometimes a win/win/win). Give without expectation. The return may not come from the same source but new clients, referrals, or opportunities tend to show up when you make a habit of helping others.

2- Build the Know- Like-Trust Factor- Building relationships is more important than collecting massive leads. Think quality versus quantity. Add people to your list who have given you permission. Doing so without permission breaks trust. Connect deeper finding common ground, learning from each other, versus on the surface discussion about the weather.

3- It’s More Important to Obtain Business Cards than Distribute- Certainly it is a good practice to hand out your cards to those you connect with. More importantly is obtaining the business card of the person you just spent some time with so you have the ability to follow up.

4- Be Curious- The 6 Degrees of Separation Theory states that we are only 6 people away from finding out anything we need to know. Be curious and you will be surprised at what people, resources, and information are at your finger tips.

5- Know & Clarify WIIFT- When creating your introduction clarify who your target market is and “what’s in it for them”. Sell benefits. Verizon spread worldwide as people personally related with ‘Can you hear me now?’ and the accompanying slogan ‘Verizon never stops working to fill your phone service needs.’

6- Be Consistent- As in marketing, the more consistent your networking the more fruitful it becomes. Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerilla Marketing stated, “I hate to admit this, but mediocre marketing with commitment works better than brilliant marketing without commitment.” Attending networking meetings occasionally is fruitless. Whatever group you choose, be consistent.

7- Develop Advocates- Get to know the movers and shakers. Build relationships with Centers of Influence who connect with your ideal client or customer. Offer incentives for referrals.

8- Be a Powerful Resource and Advocate for Others- Build resources as you network and get to know people and what they do. Match your contacts with quality people that can help them in areas outside your expertise. What goes around comes around.

9- Consistently Follow- Up- It’s not enough to have a large network of people that you have met. Follow up is where many new businesses drop the ball. This is where they really get to know and trust you. Have a systematic plan in place to touch base and ask ‘how can I help you?’

10- Get Involved- Getting involved in a networking organization puts you in a consistent position of visibility and improves your ability to get to know the other members.

11- Under Promise and Over Deliver- Adrenaline can get the best of some while networking. They over promise in the moment, then under deliver when back at the office. Make it general practice to under promise, committing only to what you know you can easily do, then over deliver in follow through.

12- Develop You- You can grow your business as big as you can grow yourself. The more you grow and strengthen your knowledge, skills, and personality traits the more confident you become and the more you begin to attract. Start there!

To shift into action choose one tip to focus on for one week and see what new results come your way. Then try on another and so on. Before you know it your networking efforts will be paving your way to success… Starting Now!