How do I make Business Networking more profitable for me, particularly as a new attendee?
If you want your business networking to become more profitable for you can apply a simple process “Visibility, credibility and profitability”
- You have to show up regularly
- Help people to know who you are and what you do
- Take on a role in the chapter
- You do what you say you’re going to do.
- You behave professionally and appropriately.
- Critically, you develop strong relationships with other attendees
- Individual Meetings
- Social Events
- Knowledge Sharing
- Not being an arse! This is pretty self-explanatory but if you need this explained further, I recommend you read “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.
- You’ll potentially get some leads and referrals as you build your visibility and credibility within your networking group.
- When you’re trusted, other members or attendees may offer you “tier 2” leads and referrals.
- Once those “tier 2” opportunities start referring you on to “tier 3” then profit increases significantly. You may have to ask for the referral, but if you are visable and credible then the request should be well received.
The critical factors here are trust and relationships. You want to help people to know, like and trust you.
Factors to consider
When you first join a networking group the current members don’t yet know you, know if they like you or if they can trust you. Understand members may have existing loyalties with other suppliers. Take ownership and build the relationships – referrals are not an automatic right.
Remember in business networking it’s an ongoing process and you need to maintain visibility and credibility.