How To Build Your Quality Business Network?
One of the most important skills for any entrepreneur is NETWORKING, specifically Business Networking, and how to build long lasting professional relationships. I have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the last decade and have seen the magic of business networking work for them.
For any entrepreneur, be it a startup or well established, it is the size and quality of your network that will determine your SUCCESS.
Let me share some Principles of Networking and how to do it successfully. This will give you an unfair advantage over your peers and competitors.
1) Networking is perennial
You have to do networking all the time and not just when you need it. You cannot dig a well when you are thirsty. When you need to network it is already late if you do not have a quality and good size network built up. As always consistency is the key.
2) Give First
It starts with you giving value to others before you ask anything from them. There is a famous line by Zig Ziglar that If you want to be successful in your life then make enough people successful in their lives. You can give advice, Knowledge, Business to help others. It is like depositing in the relationship bank multiple times before you withdraw from it for your use.
3) Add value beyond expectations
In any relationship when you start giving more than what the other person expects then you will also start getting more than you expect. For doing this you have to spend time and effort to understand how we can help the other person and also to create rapport.
4) Physical meetings
As far as possible meet people physically rather than virtually. It is easier to create rapport when you meet live. Follow ups can be on calls if unavoidable. Meeting physically with full focus and spending quality time yields better results in Networking,
5) Good Listener
Open-ended questions open up the conversation. It gives the opportunity for others to express themselves. It becomes easier to understand the other person and create a rapport. Be a good listener with complete focus and you will get the same back when it is your turn.
6) Honour your commitments
Whenever you decide to meet then be there on time and with full focus. Whatever commitments you are giving to the other person by way of referrals, knowledge, information, etc then be sure to complete those commitments. This helps build trust resulting in a more fruitful symbiotic relationship.
7) Gold lies in Follow ups
I have seen many entrepreneurs receive referrals, connections, and advice but do not follow up on them. This is one of the most important reasons for the other person to lose faith in you. It is equally important to update the other person about the action taken and the output.
8) Network Expansion
Your relationship with the other person should not end at the end of the meeting. You should contribute to the growth of each other’s network. You should think about who are his or her referral partners? Who I should connect with so that the other person expands his network and improves the quality as well. Your intention is also to expand your network. This is the most important part Of networking. We have to continuously meet new people.
9) Always be ready
Networking opportunities can happen anywhere, At Airports, In airplanes, trains, networking events, or hotels, Always be prepared with all your collaterals like business cards, brochures, samples handy. Be ready with your perfect introduction pitch.
10) Networking Plan
Have your networking plan ready. You should plan for the people to meet and where and how to grow your network.
In the next blog, we will see how we bring the plan into action. This will ensure that entrepreneurs will get the maximum out of Business Networking. Remember your Network determines your Net worth.