Regardless of what type of business we have, two things need to happen for us to expand and grow our business and achieve our revenue goals. We need to 1) market our products and services and 2) someone needs to buy them. So what can you do every day that will accelerate your business growth? It’s simple, and honestly, it’s one of the more fun aspects of business. Any guesses? That’s right! NETWORKING
Every day identify people who need or want what you provide, or who know others who do. Better yet, call this RELATIONSHIP BUILDING; because at the end of the day, in this fast paced world, it’s the relationships you create that really matter. What are you waiting for? Keep reading for my tips on how to better create lasting relationships in your business venture!
# 1 Begin with the End in Mind
Before heading out to an event (luncheon, dinner party, seminar, or wherever you are going to be meeting people) determine what it is you want to accomplish and write down your intention.
Perhaps it is to meet 10 people, make 2 genuine connections, identify a strategic alliance, or to connect with one person who you could be of service to in the near future?
It is important to be clear about why you are there, and what you want to accomplish, otherwise you are just going out for a meal. Knowing what you want to accomplish will also help you determine whether your networking is giving you the intended ROI.
# 2 Respond Powerfully when others ask, “What do you do?”
In reality, people aren’t really interested in what you “do,” they are interested in how what you do benefits them or someone they know. They want to know how you can solve their problems. There are various templates for crafting your 30 – 60 second introduction (a.k.a. an elevator speech), but the main elements are:
• What you do and why?
• For whom do you do it?
• What problem do you solve?
• Why does it matter – what results will be achieved?
• What makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing?
Spend some time answering these questions and crafting your introduction. Practice saying it numerous times so it feels natural. Use it when you meet other people; see how it flows and what type of response it evokes.
#3 Who, What, When, How – Wasn’t Just for English Class
During conversations, focus on asking questions; especially open-ended questions that facilitate conversation flow and give you information on how you may be able to help those you are speaking with in the future. Open-ended questions typically start with what, how, when, and who; they solicit more than a one word response. Be genuinely interested in what others are saying. You may discover someone who could become a partner, a potential client, or know someone who could be a connection.
A great question to include in any conversation is “How would I know I’m talking to someone who would be a good contact for you?”.
This question comes from Bob Burg, author of The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More, and it is a surefire way to make a lasting connection. After all, it gives the recipient the opportunity to tell you whom he or she would love to meet; and it lets you think about people in your network who might be good referrals.
While these tips may seem really simple, and they are, just doing 1 of these will result in significant changes to your networking and ultimately your bottom line.
Take a moment and reflect on the 3 tips. What could you choose to incorporate or modify, starting today, to make your networking more effective? Comment below or email me at Kim@SmallBizBIGBreakthrough.com to let me know how it’s going.
P.S. Be on the lookout for next weeks post. In it I will be sharing the ONE networking mistake that is resulting in money being left on the table and what to do it about so you can put more profits in your pocket.