If you plan on being successful in your network marketing business, you’d better know and fully understand what networking is and how to do it. Without the networking aspect, you’ll have nothing but a failed business and a ton of regrets. So, what is networking?
What Is Networking?
Networking is simply connecting and interacting with people, one on one, and establishing a relationship.
Relationships formed can help you as well as the other person gain new business or other opportunities. This can happen on or offline. This blog post will discuss networking offline.
What Networking Is Not
Networking is a business strategy that can yield great results, if done right. Many people attend networking events and their preparation is to grab a bunch of their business cards and go. They “work the room” talking to people, giving out their cards, collecting cards in return and shaking hands.
What happens then? In many cases, nothing. Why? Because there isn’t a full understanding of what networking is and how the impact of networking continues long after the event is over.
Networking is not giving out business cards and shaking hands. Well, it is but it is so much more than that! And until you realize the importance of networking, you’ll lose out on the possibility of making connections that can greatly benefit you and your business.
Where Can You Network?
Have you ever been invited to a function or event where you knew lots of people would be? What a great opportunity to network! This could be a networking event, a ribbon cutting ceremony, a career day at a local school, chamber of commerce events or a vending event.
All of these events have people, lots of people who you could approach individually and strike up a conversation.
What Happens At Networking Events?
The goal is to let the person talk about themselves and what they do. Additionally, they will want to know about you and what you do. In this interaction, you and the other party gain important and valuable information that will be logged into your brain as well as theirs. This information can later be used by you and that person or shared with someone who is looking for that particular connection.
A Personal Experience
For example, I attended a networking event hosted by a lawyer last year. There were several lawyers there as well as people in various other fields. As I went around the room, I talked to many of these people. One such person was a lawyer and was very interested in my business which is providing legal plans for everyday people.
He was fascinated by the service and wanted to know how he could be a part of the network of attorneys who help people when they face legal issues. I connected him with the corporate office and from that point, we established a relationship that has lasted since that initial meeting and conversation.
What Skills Do You Need To Be Good At Networking?
You should possess certain basic skills if you are planning to seriously network:
- a clear mindset of what networking is and how it will impact your business as well as those you interact with
- be able to communicate well and answer questions quickly; be prepared for how others respond to what you say
- always be ready and confident on what you’re talking about as confidence makes your message more alluring
- use what knowledge you have and ask questions that are least likely to be asked allowing the receiver to gain a more intimate look at who you are
- allow your personal brand to shine through so that you will be remembered for who you are, what you stand for and what makes you different
Networking Takes Strategic Planning
The whole idea of networking is to get to know people who will do business with you or possibly connect you with people who will and vice versa. You have control of who you meet and where you meet them. You also have control of how the relationship you form will grow and be mutually advantageous to both parties involved. Here are some networking tips to think about:
- what are my goals
- how many leads/prospects do I want within a specified period of time
- where can I find the people who are looking for me
- are there any businesses, companies or organizations that I can best service
- what can I do to sharpen myself and my business image
- is volunteering an option
Ready To Do Some Networking?
Once you’ve established these and can articulate them, you are prepared to network.
Becoming visible, participating in community events and being of service in general is a way to get recognized and known for what your business or service provides.
Reconnect with the people you connected with at previous networking events, follow up with initial inquiries, provide answers and be a resource.
This is how you network and in network marketing, it is the golden key that will open doors for you, get you business and build lasting, productive and prosperous relationships.
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Theresa Lovelace: “Teaching Network Marketers Simple Online Strategies To Generate Leads, Make Sales and Recruit People Into Their Business”
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