Monday, February 8, 2010

7 Savvy Secrets to Networking Success

If you thought you could avoid people and survive in the business world, think again. Success in business is all about people. Without people, there would be no reason for your business.

Whether you are just starting out or wanting to give your business a boost, you may want to consider these savvy secrets to building relationships with your customers that go beyond a quick handshake and money in your pocket.

Be Yourself. Remember you are your personal brand. People want to do business with people who are "real" or authentic. They do not want to do business with phoney people.

You want to look professional and well-groomed at all times because you never know who you may meet at the supermarket or at your child's sporting event. Look at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house or your office. Would you do business with the person you see looking back at you in the mirror?

Preparation is the key. Be able to deliver a clear and concise 30 second commercial or elevator speech about what you do and how it can be of benefit to others.

Engage the person before you with your smile. Maintain eye contact and stand with confidence and belief in your business. What are some things that you need in the next 30-60 days?

Increase Your Visibility. Give people the opportunity to learn about you and your business. Volunteer in your community.

Attend networking events, meet-up groups, and professional association functions. Get a website so people searching the internet can find you. It does not need to be fancy to get noticed and remembered.

Go Beyond the Business Card. You attended a networking event a while ago and have a stack on business cards on your desk. What are you doing with them? Are you following up with the people you meet?

Mark the ones you want to follow up with and follow up with them within 48 hours of meeting by phoning them or meeting for a cup of coffee. Send a personal thank you card after meeting with them.

How do you follow up with your current customers and the customers you want to attract to your business? Host an appreciation night or offer a discount for your product or service.

Use a weekly or monthly newsletter to stay in touch and keep you on their minds. Write articles of value to bring new clients to your website to find out more about you.

Give First Attitude. Develop the "give first" attitude; it will serve you well. Help others to achieve their aspirations and do not measure what you do for them. When you give of yourself first, you will reap infinite returns. You will be repaid in others ways and not necessarily by the people you help.

Deliver Value. Social networking, newsletters, and blogs are a great way for people to get to know you and another way to stay in touch with others.

If you are going to post something, make sure you are giving something of value. You may want to leave a thought provoking quote, a link to an information-packed article, or a referral to another business. Ultimately, people want to know what's in it for them.

Create Your Own Circle of Influence. Get to know the people within your network and create a mastermind group or a circle of influence. Discover something you have in common or a mutual interest. Develop a relationship with your network.

Give first - show them that you are not just after the sale; you are there to serve them. They need to get to know, like, and trust you. People would sooner do business with a friend than a sales person.

It can often take 7-9 "touches" or contacts with you or your business before you actually make a sale. If your business is not for them, they may refer you to others because they know the person you are.

These savvy secrets to success are about building relationships with people that last. People are the key to business success and long lasting relationships with your customers are the key to the longevity of your business. Be the key that opens the doors of opportunity for others, and doors will open for you!

By : Debra_Kasowski

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