04 May The Power of Networking
As a Versatile Assistant, it’s essential that I network and that I understand the power of networking. It’s common knowledge that people buy from people but in my industry, people invite me in to their work space so it’s even more important that people get to know the person behind the business. They need to get to know me.
I have been networking for a couple of years now and in my opinion, you will meet three types of business owners;
- The hardened networker – These are the people you will see at most events. In fact, if you don’t see them, you feel a need to contact them to find out if they are ill.
- The newbies – The one’s who are obviously new to networking and look like a rabbit caught in head lights when they enter the room. Welcome these people with open arms, remember that you were there once!
- The one’s who want instant results and if they don’t generate business there and then, they are out!
Which of these do you think are most successful?
There is a misconception when you are new to networking that it’s a quick fix. Here you are in a room filled with potential clients and you need to sell, sell sell!!!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. The whole reason for networking is to build trust. By turning up once and putting on the hard sell, you will only alienate those potential future clients.
This is a fool proof marketing strategy. A relatively cheap way to get your business out there and build real relationships with other business owners. But it’s a long game.
Don’t get me wrong, I highly recommend “shopping around” when you hit the networking scene. Get out to as many as possible in the early stages and figure out which one’s fit with your personality. Like most things in life, one size doesn’t fit all and not all events will feel comfortable with you.
Once you know where you feel at home, attend, attend and then attend some more!
I’d like to share an experience with you. To me, this really highlights the power of networking and how important it is to have patience and keep building those relationships.
I recently had a phone call from a lady I used to network with. I’m going back about a year. We have tried to keep in touch and have done sporadically but you know how it is, life goes past, business gets busy and you never get chance to actually meet up.
This lady called me a few days ago to tell me that she had referred me to two separate clients. Both looking for different things, one for administration and the other was for an event. She had remembered that I specialise in event planning!!!
She sent an email introduction to them both, I responded and guess what? The both responded back! I actually had a meeting with the company that needs an event planning a couple of days ago.
How amazing is that?
As I said, networking isn’t a quick fix but if you make the right impression and you keep building those key relationships, even a year down the line, the business will come in!!!
- As a final note, it’s also worth attended business exhibitions. Read my last blog for an insight in to what’s involved in organising such an event. https://www.kdva.co.uk/sheilas-expos/