The simple answer is yes… but you must be smart about how you do it.
The most common complaint is burnout, which typically happens because they try to attend as many events as they can. Networking, when done the right why can lead to a very positive result if you’re willing to give it the time it needs to develop. The following are tips that can help make networking more successful for you and your business.
NOTE: If you plan on attending networking events to solely get business you probably should change your action plan
- Think about what your target market is and who your power partners are.
- Be strategic with the groups you attend. Look at a list ahead of time to see how many people in the same industry will be there.
- Attend several groups in the beginning to find the best synergy and energy.
- Ask friends or business colleagues for the best groups to attend.
- Think about joining a local chamber to get more involved.
- When you show up to event ask the leader to point out the individuals that would be your power partners.
- Once you commit to a group make sure you attend.
- Develop relationships outside of the meetings.
To optimally develop networking relationships and make them work it’s vital to meet your power partners for coffee, lunch or a drink after work. Try to develop more of a relationship outside of the typical business environment so they can learn more about you and vice versa. They might be the best at what they do but if their attitude or ethics are not great then they don’t deserve your referral. Think of meeting these individuals and training your new sales force. The more you develop a relationship, trust and competence the easier it becomes to refer.
Networking can take time but when it’s done in the right way, it can be the best source of business for you. If you don’t have the time to build relationships and don’t take it seriously you will constantly scratch your head wondering why others don’t refer business to you. Whereas, if you make the time, plan out your meetings strategically and are willing to be patient once you gain their trust your referrals can spread like wildfire.