Networking gives you the advantage over your competitors and generates business for you. How often do you gain business because someone knows you or referred you? That’s the difference between you and your competition. There are a lot of people out there looking for business and you need to set yourself apart not only by offering unique and excellent service but through your connections.
One way to build those connections is through networking. Networking in your community is essential and is a growing trend for people to connect with one another in an effort to build business. Let’s face it, in this automated world of social media the “social part” of getting to know your customers is becoming more and more difficult. Networking offers the unique opportunity for you to be face to face with the people who you want to do business with. It gives them the unique opportunity to get to know you, understand what you do and how you can help them or someone they know. When you give people the opportunity to get to know you in person they become more receptive, more open to considering you for a job or a referral to a friend. People want to know who they are doing business with.
How often do you call a contractor based on an advertisement and within the first few minutes know that you would never give them your business? You don’t even give them a chance to earn your trust do you? Yet you knew they were not the contractor for you. Well, networking in a group setting helps take the pain out of the process. You have the opportunity for people to get to know you and for you to know them simply by showing up and spending time together.
Networking helps you develop relationships with people who may or may not need your services, but they certainly know someone who will and therein lies the difference between you and your competition…relationships. Building relationships through networking will bring more business through connections and referrals. People like to do business with people they know, trust and like, more importantly they like to refer people they know, trust, and like because it’s their reputation they are putting on the line when they do.
Try it, find a group or two to connect with and show up consistently. Get to know the people in the group at the meetings and outside them. Identify the people you want to build strong referral relationships with and get to know them. The more interest you take in someone and their business the more they want to get to know you. Establishing a good rapport with your connections takes time to develop but it is worth it because you have now established yourself in the group as the go to person for your services. People will begin to use your services, offer testimonials, and refer people to you as well, and when your competition comes knocking on their door or shows up in their mailbox they will call you first. Give yourself the advantage over your competition, get out and network.