Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Effective Business Networking: 5 Tips For Mastering The Art of Networking

The heart of any business is the connection it has with other businesses and individuals that it can call upon to help meet its needs. Networking - any activity designed to create, maintain and utilize interpersonal connections - is an essential business skill. But not all business people take the time to truly master. However, without a solid understanding of how to network effectively and efficiently, no business can make the vital connections that it needs to survive and prosper in today's super-connected economy. Here are some tips you can use to increase your networking - and business - success

Go with a goal. One of the first and most common mistakes that people make when entering a networking situation (planned or otherwise) is to fail to have a firm goal in mind. Are you looking to acquire new prospects, meet colleagues for possible collaborations, create a mutual referral partnership, create name recognition for you and your business, find funding or just "shop around" for interesting news and trends you can use? If you haven't taken the time to determine what your goals are for the encounters ahead, you will have a hard time meeting them.

Of course, most businesses have several different needs, but in many cases any given networking opportunity is unlikely to provide more than one or two types of results, depending on the situation at hand. For example, if you are attending an event made up primarily of others in your industry or trade, you are unlikely to meet prospects, since everyone will be a provider just like you, nor are you likely to find referral partners, since almost everyone will be a direct competitor. So if your primary needs are clients and referrals, such events, while not an entire waste of time, might not be your best use of it. On the other hand, if you are desperately seeking a partner to expand or are looking to find out the latest, greatest technology in the field to offer to your client base, then you're definitely going to be in the right place.

Hone your message. When someone asks you what you do, can you articulate not only your business but it's benefit to them in a clear and concise manner? How about your "elevator speech" or 15-second intro - is it crisp, to the point and compelling, or do people's eyes glaze over before you get to the end? This is not the time to give a dry and deadly-dull job description. Save that for your resume. When someone asks about you and your business, you are being given a golden, but brief, opportunity to knock his or her socks off and to persuade them that you are the best thing to happen to them since sliced bread. Make sure you do so.

Important - leave your sales pitch at home! Networking is networking, and sales is sales. Confuse the two and you'll lose out on both. Nobody wants to be sold to, especially when they're quite plainly not in a sales environment. And remember that anyone who tries to work a networking event under the "three-foot rule" (anyone within three feet is an opportunity to make a sale) is likely to find others unwilling to get within three feet of them in a very short period of time.

Check your gear. Make sure that you have everything you need to make a great impression. Are your business cards or other hand-outs up to date, and as professional-looking as you can make them? If this is a planned event, do you know who will be attending and have you isolated a few people you definitely want to make sure to meet, or are you going in blind and resigned to winging it?

And don't forget to double-check the time, date and venue. Nothing is more irritating than showing up only to find that you're too early, too late or unable to find a parking space closer than a quarter-mile away.

Educate your audience. Are you seeking a collaborative partner for a project? Then make sure everyone knows what the project is and what sort of partner you are looking for (and the general parameters of the partnership they'll be investing their time into). If you're looking for referrals, then do your potential referral sources know what constitutes a good referral for you? It's a waste of your time and a drain on your referrer's good will and reputation if you turn down or do a bad job for everyone they send to you because the referrals were inappropriate. Likewise, a well-educated referral source might wind up sending you fewer referrals, but those are much more likely to be quality prospects that have a high probability of becoming solid clients.

On the other hand, if you are directly prospecting do your prospects know that you're the answer to their prayers and why? Remember that all prospects are tuned into station WII-FM - What's In It For Me - and unless you make sure that they know why they should consider working with you, they won't.

Follow through. The most important part of networking happens after the initial contact. The best impression, the snappiest laser marketing message and the deepest desire to work together will all come to naught if they don't hear from you in a timely manner - or even worse, never hear from you at all. No matter who said what about calling whom, always follow up promptly and in a manner designed to strengthen the relationship and add value for the other person.

A simple follow-up email may be okay for old contacts touching base, but for a new contact that can provide you with crucial funding or superior referrals, or a hot prospect itching to clear your warehouse of your top-shelf merchandise your follow through needs to have all the finesse, power and elegance of a figure skater's best jump - and all the holding power of a solid landing.

There are three keys to an effective follow through:

  • It reinforces the original intent of the contact. Refer to your original conversation, restating any key points and reaffirming any agreements that were made or intimated. Follow through on any promises you made to deliver information, provide samples, initiate a meeting, put through a request, whatever - before the follow-up call, unless time constraints or lead-time make that impossible.
  • It carries the scent of enthusiasm without the stench of desperation. Follow up as promptly and as regularly or frequently as the circumstance warrants, but don't turn into a stalker or a pest. And if you can find a way to add value to the relationship through your skills, influence, position or connections, by all means offer to do so, but don't cross the line from generous associate to obsequious sycophant. And if the other person makes it clear that they are not interested, move on. "Kicking and screaming" is not an acceptable level of participation in networking, and neither is "beaten into submission."
  • It includes the seeds for the next contact. Don't get caught in the dead-end follow up. Unless it is clear that no further relationship is warranted or desired, make sure that there is some agreement on a next step or arrangement made to continue the conversation. Make that phone call and at the end, set up an appointment for lunch a few weeks down the road. At lunch, offer to forward an important report or offer to broker a desirable introduction to someone higher up the food chain, and so on. Make sure you never leave the table without an invitation to resume your seat at a later date.

Like a good golf swing or a stunning presentation, effective networking boils down to three essential stages of activity: preparation, delivery and follow through. And like an electrical circuit with a short or a break, a failure at any of these points stops the flow of life-giving connective energy - the healthy and continually renewed cycle of which your business requires to maintain a strong, stable potential for growth, resilience and success.

Mastering the art of effective networking, like any other business activity, requires time, dedication and attention. But in the end, the dividends it pays are well worth the time it took to cultivate them. Take the time to master these five tips and you will be amply rewarded with the prodigious fruits of your networking labor.

(c) Soni Pitts

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Soni Pitts is a Personal and Spiritual Development Coach who specializes in helping people break free of "life as seen on tv" and reclaim the sacredness of living.

Get your copy of her free e-book "50 Ways To Reach Your Goals" and over 100 self-help and inspirational articles, as well as other products and resources, at http://www.sonipitts.com.

In The News:

21 killed as pipeline explodes after fuel theft
Sat, 19 Jan 2019 03:08:00 +0000
At least 21 people have died and 71 others injured after a pipeline breached by fuel thieves exploded triggering a massive fire in central Mexico.

Bangkok pollution 'at crisis level' as planes trigger rain
Fri, 18 Jan 2019 23:34:00 +0000
Doctors in Thailand are warning Bangkok could face a pollution health crisis if it does not address its smog problem.

Ex-president turns pizza delivery man amid US shutdown
Sat, 19 Jan 2019 09:34:00 +0000
Former US president George W Bush tried his hand at delivering pizza to treat unpaid Secret Service staff amid the ongoing government shutdown.

Hundreds of migrants tunnel under US border together
Sat, 19 Jan 2019 10:33:00 +0000
Almost 400 asylum seekers have been arrested in Arizona after tunnelling under the US-Mexico border, officials have said.

From jail, crime bosses blow up bridges and set petrol stations on fire
Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:03:00 +0000
Petrol stations set alight, bridges blown up and police stations torched are just a few of the ways crime bosses in Brazil are flexing their muscles from within the confines of their prison walls.



tikatoshop.it

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

Flying High, Flying Far

"What me? Sell myself? You have to be joking!"This was... Read More

Develop a Great Network - Pay It Forward for Maximum Success

Who needs a network of people to talk to about... Read More

The Festive Season: Your Networking Opportunity

The festive season is a great time to sharpen and... Read More

Measuring Value for a Networking Group

How do you measure a group's worth to your organization?It... Read More

5 Ways to Wow People Who Wear Nametags

People wear nametags more often than you think. The majority... Read More

Lesson 14 - Whats In A Handshake?

The StoryAs a child growing up, one of the many... Read More

How to Generate More Business by Telling People What You Do

What do you tell people when asked what you do?... Read More

Come Home Rich - How to Get the Most out of Your Next Conference

Success in your career depends upon how well you manage... Read More

Network Marketing Secret: On Becoming the ?GoTo? Guy

For years we've been taught to identify ourselves as reps... Read More

Client Attraction Technique #2: Networking

One of the most cost effective ways of generating leads... Read More

It Pays to be Friendly

Most small business people do not take advantage of human... Read More

Politics, Religion, Race; Conversational No-No?s in Business

Do not destroy all your positive displacement and high energy... Read More

Volunteering for a Networking Group

When is it appropriate to volunteer to take a position... Read More

Business Networking ? Extroverted Web Weaving for the Introvert

If you have been in business for any amount of... Read More

How Speakers, Exhibitors, Consultants, and Meeting Planners Partner-Generate More Money and Value

? "Make Every Moment Count" is the title of a... Read More

How to Shmooze

Definition: talk idly or casually in a friendly way Value:... Read More

Keys to Successful Networking While In Transition

Let's be real. With other pressures of life upon us,... Read More

Networking and Trade Shows

The most important reasons people exhibit at a trade show?... Read More

Why Cant I Remember Your Name?

You're terrible with names. You forget someone's name within ten... Read More

Follow-Up with Your Contacts

What happens when you meet a potential client at an... Read More

Are You Building Relationships Online?

How's your relationship?I'm not prying into your personal life, so... Read More

Strategic Networking: Take the Shortest Path to Success

Do you use Ryze or LinkedIn to promote your web... Read More

Franchisees Should Learn From Each Other

If you own a franchise you should be in contact... Read More

Write It Down!

Why would you want to write information on paper when... Read More

The Power of Word of Mouth

Most of us remember the commercial that said, "I told... Read More