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Just as a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, networking should
be a habit and not a one off event. It is about 'farming' not 'hunting' and
about building long term relationships, not closing a piece of business
there and then.
Even before we look at some techniques to employ when networking, we have to
get over a cultural barrier. As a nation, we are self-deprecating and
uncomfortable when needing to blow our own trumpets or, talk up successes
or abilities. But if we don't, who will? With today's technology, there
is no excuse not to get your message out there!
It's not Net eating or Net sitting, it's Networking. Think like a 'host'
not a 'guest'. Get involved; introduce yourself or other people to each
Set some objectives
Don't wander around aimlessly. If possible, obtain the guest list ahead of time
and target who you would like to talk to. Decide on how many you would like
to meet, based on numbers and types of people attending, and don't leave until
you've done it!
To achieve your objective, spend around 10 minutes with each person. If the conversation
looks promising, arrange a one to one to explore the possibilities in more detail.
Never let your fellow networkers down. If you receive a referral or lead, make
sure you follow-up and let your contact know you have done so. Ensure you
deliver on time. You contacts are putting their reputations on the line when
recommending you - don't let them down. Bad news travels fast.
This is the proportion of ears to mouth each of us has. Make sure you
use then in this proportion. Pride yourself on being an active listener;
be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying. Who knows
where the conversation may lead? Explain what you do - be specific
but be brief. Do not assume they know your business.
Always carry your business cards and be prepared to talk about your business.
An opportunity may present anywhere - be prepared!
Always give two cards - one for the receiver and one for their associate who 'needs' your
Failing to follow up will waste your networking efforts. Drop a note to or, call
each person you've met. Ensure you deliver on any promises you have made.
After and between events keep in contact by providing relevant or interesting
information and articles. Refer when you can. This builds relationships
and helps people to get to know and trust you - this makes it easier for them
to buy from you or refer to you.
Nobody wants to spend time with, let alone do business with, a misery. Be passionate
about your business, taking pride in what you do. If you do not feel these
two things, perhaps it is time to evaluate your position - maybe a change in
direction is required. You have always got to be on top of you game - you are
a walking advertisement for your business.
Two words valued highly when received, but not used enough.
If people have taken the time and trouble to send you something or think of you - make
sure you say Thank you! This goes a long way, showing you respect and appreciate
the relationship. It will also set you above 'the rest' - saying thank you
is a dying art.
'Opportunity is missed by most people because, it is dressed in overalls and
looks like work' Thomas A. Edison
About the AuthorWritten by Sue Wright of WrightPlace Consulting, a
consulting company specializing in helping you develop your business.. You can reach
WrightPlace Consulting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.wrightplace.co.uk.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-08-26 13:08:45 in Personal Articles