Networking For Business Profits
Business networking can be very simple and profitable activity for you to do to get more work for your business, it can also be very frustrating and a waste of your time depending on how you do it
What is business networking?
Business networking is a simple marketing strategy by which business opportunities are created through networking / association with like minded business people.
Types of business groups:
o Your own circle of friends and associates
o Business associations – most industry types have their own association that you can go to
o Purposely structured business referral groups – there are many professional organizations – check your local area and see who is operating
o Start your own?
o Low cost dependent upon activity – if you join a structure referral group membership fees and costs can be quite reasonable.
o Mix with other like minded business owners.
o Learn new ideas and hear about what other business owners are doing.
o Support network
o Develop new friendships.
o Generate business leads from word of mouth advertising – if you are in a referral group and say there is 20 members; it's like having 20 salespeople work for you for free
o Sole advertising – some groups only allow 1 industry type to be represented within the group (example: 1 carpet cleaning company), once you join you in effect lock out your competition from joining – meaning you have access to all leads for your industry.
Things to look for when considering groups to join:
o Check to see if your competitors are already there
o Most groups allow you to visit a couple of times before you have to commit – during this time take note of amount of business being passed through the group and the quality.
o Take note if the group looks to be more of a social group than a business referral group (unless you are looking for a social group?)
o Grab some members business cards and contact a few after the meeting to get their honest feedback and how profitable it has been for them.
Word of warning: if you are looking for a group to get more referrals from, and the results from the above tips gives you a negative feeling – find another group …
How to maximize your return from networking:
o Do not be pushy – spend time building rapport and finding out about other peoples businesses; it pays off in the long run ..
o Collect business cards from others you speak with – always follow up with a phone call or send them a thank-you card thanking them for their time – follow up with a phone call to arrange a time to drop out for a chat to find out more about their business.
o Provide leads to others – do not wait for leads to come to you, if you can provide leads to others straight away do so – it will come back to you …
Follow some of these simple tips and your future business networking will be more successful, enjoyable and profitable …