People often ask how to get the most out of their networking, “How does it work?” Here’s what I share with them:
Know who your ideal client is and where you will find them. Surprisingly enough many people don’t really know who their ideal client is, so how would you know where to find them? If you do know who your ideal client is, are you networking where they network or with people who can refer you to them? First and foremost, that’s what you need to know.
Try before you buy. Visit several different networking groups before deciding which ones to join. Attend different chapters of the same organization, you might feel more comfortable with one group verses another. The idea is to find a group or several groups of people that will become good referral partners for you. You need to look beyond the people in the room, who do they know.
Connect with the people in your network. Whether you meet monthly or weekly or a combination (depending on how many groups you join) it is important to get to know the people in your group. The best way to do that is to spend time with them. Invite them out for coffee, get to know more about them, about their business, and use and refer their services when appropriate.
Make it about them. Become a good referral resource for the people you network with. Think of them when someone you know is looking for help. Tell your network that you know people who can help them. Be the one people think of when they are looking for any kind of services and you will always be top of mind when they know someone who needs your services.
Show up consistently. In order to be memorable you need to show up, people need to see your face, hear your commercial, feel your presence. Make your networking a priority, if you cannot commit to a weekly meeting, there are plenty of monthly meetings. Be committed.
For some people networking comes easy for others it takes time. When you stick with it networking can be the best form of marketing for your business, but you have to be willing to stick with it. That’s how networking works.