What is Networking?

This month at TBN we initiated a new 2 minute slot to encourage Tips on Networking our thanks to Joannah Bishop – Rocket Digital Media for her valuable interpretation of the brief:

What is networking?

When you think of networking, do you think of sales pitches, awkward conversation and phoney smiles or circulating business cards at meetings?

This is not effective Networking, at heart effective networking is all about developing valuable relationships over time. It’s about Growing a Pool of People who know about you and value what you do.

You can network in lots of different ways, formal, informal, in person, by phone, online …but it’s important to remember that you are networking rather than pitching or selling. The people that are in the room or sitting on your table may not be your clients but someone they may know could be. We all know one of the best and most cost effective ways to win quality business is referral via the power of word of mouth marketing.

Don’t just sit there or stand there over coffee, don’t be a brown noser, don’t ask yes or no questions.
Is this your first time here, did you find it ok…
Forget the hard sell but don’t forget your story.

Some ideas and steps to remember…

  • it matters what you do outside the room, as well as in it. If someone has the courtesy to email you or call you then please return the call or the email.
  • Have a crystal clear idea of who your next potential tomorrow customer is and what they need, who they will be and where will you get them from.
  • Make sure you have an idea and service you can express clearly.
  • Be willing to share- what you know, who you know and how you can add value to them and their customers.
  • Focus on what you can give, rather than what you want
  • Keep In touch and follow up.

N   Never interrupt
E   Engage in new ideas
T  Targeting a receptive audience
W Working the room or table
O  Open minded
R   Respond to communication during and after networking
K   Keeping on top of your game
I    Initiate 121 meetings
N   Never focus on work related conversation only
G   Growing your business and yourself

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