3 Reasons Why You Should Invest Your Time in Networking
Networking is a very powerful tool and worth every bit of time and investment. For me, networking has delivered more return on investment than any other marketing tool in a given time period. It is real and it is indeed one area of marketing that you shouldn’t ignore. Yes, there are social media channels on the internet and there are other methods of advertising that will drive business your way, but if there is one thing I would suggest that is necessary to grow any business, it would be networking.
Think about it… before the rise of the internet and online social channels how did people create business through networking – Face to Face it was, and it will be a surefire way of marketing your business for a long time to come. It is a great way to develop a lasting relationship and to propel you to the next level in your professional, business career. It doesn’t matter what your business or industry the same rules apply; You must be an excellent listener, engaging and interactive, be 100% genuine and completely understand the needs of others. You must also decipher your own needs and be ready to pick up on potential leads when necessary.
Here’s why you should invest your time in networking:
Benefits in business and friendship
If you’re a startup or moving your business to a new location, you will want to make friends very quickly. At first glance, you should think of business networking as a means to build friendship and make contacts and not necessarily as a benefit to converting your networking into monetary value. This rule also applies to well-established businesses who have been networking for a long time. The last thing you want to do is walk into a network meeting and start handing out your cards and pushing your business to make sales!
You want to help your business colleagues and friends understand who you are and what you represent. You also want to bring your newfound network a sense of value by attending to others needs on an emotional and cognitive level. This is a two-way street and best value is brought by equally sharing personal and business opportunities. If you are an expert in what you do then mentor and engaging the group to create the optimum networking environment can also bring benefit. Remember to provide quality mentorship to your clients and fellow colleagues for business growth and credible relationships. Incredible relationships are where the business is!
Equal business opportunities
Let’s face it, you’re not in business or attending networking events to simply make friends are you? You are networking with like-minded business colleagues and friends in order to develop and uncover some fantastic business opportunities.
People definitely need people to create a business, so once you have built up your reputation around your network there will be a rise in business opportunities which you wouldn’t have found elsewhere. These are the people who know your business, who appreciate you as a person and are ready to expose your business to others they know, like and trust. If you know, like and trust people within your network, you will create countless business opportunities which multiply as your network grows.
Therefore, network with a purpose. Get to know people on an individual basis and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Find out who they know and what industries they are well connected with. What is their unique selling point and how can you help them get more business. Get involved by helping the network in taking on administration duties… engagement and interaction will lead to visibility and you will be well on your way to building great credibility.
The influential roundabout
It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. If you knew how to build a house, but didn’t have the right people to help you, you will have no house! The whole point of good network groups is that individuals establish themselves as experts in what they do. Likewise, you establish yourself as an expert. This influential roundabout is very powerful when you acknowledge the group as a whole and utilize its strength’s to full potential by really getting involved.
For example, people will be willing to advise you on various aspects of building the house. Many will assist you in the research and organize the resources and all this, even before you have begun to contract the work out to them. In many cases, you would be in deficit before the project even began if it wasn’t for people wanting to help you. Remember, you can’t walk into a group and expect this influence, you have to build your presence and earn this respect.