Have you ever sat down and thought as a business owner that you should start local business networking to grow your business?
Connecting with local businesses can be a great way to get more leads.
An important point when it comes to networking is to understand and gets to know your fellow networkers first before thinking of any business; this is how I think networking can really work.
People like to do business with who they know and can trust.
You may have different views feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
I have been lucky to have very nice people in my network. Few weeks ago, a thought was going through in my mind that most of my connections are online due to the type of business I am involved in.
I was really missing the face to face real time connection with people for quite some time.
While I was in that frame of mind I got the invite from Lesley Balding to join the local BNI-INFINITY Canary Wharf, London and I thought, I can’t get the better opportunity to interact with like minded business people face to face every week.
I have attended 2 networking events so far and it was really good meeting with great people.
Although, I am a technology addict and so far have been able to build all my consultancy business online through online connections, I still believe there is a huge opportunity you can tap into offline.
It is hard to build really deep relationship online quickly which you can establish in face to face interaction.
But the key to networking is the same whether it’s online or offline and that is “trust factor”.
According to Hazel Walker “you can’t rush trust”.
Ways to Get Benefit from Business Networking
Here are the few things I found out that you can do to build “trust factor” and get lot more from networking events than just asking for referrals only.
I know there are plenty of experienced networkers out there who can add many more things to the following list.
1. Tweet about each others
2. Connect on LinkedIn and write a testimonial (lot more value than an ordinary referral)
3. Share opportunities you may think can help any one in your network
4. Discuss problems and may find solutions within your network.
5. Offer assistance to each other where possible
6. Visit each other’s blog, comment and share their posts.
7. Buy each other’s product & services
8. Educating each others about what type of customers you are looking
9. Sharing best way to pass/introduce referral to each others
10. Stay in touch with each other regularly, Facebook is a great tool for that
You can only do these things by knowing each other well. What do you think?
Moral of the Story
More you interact and help each other will build “trust factor” in business networking.
Are you using face to face networking as a marketing tool to generate more business? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
Photo credit: Bosdos