Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Value of Networking

We are all somewhat familiar with social networking. The Internet has allowed us to network with other people through some very popular sites. Most of us probably are a part of either Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or one of many other social networking sites. With the Internet and technology today, we tend to lose sight of how important face-to-face networking is. In person networking has always had positive results when it comes to generating new customers, friends and business opportunities.

There are a vast number of social networking groups active today. The Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters, the American Legion and Business and Networking International are just a few. They are in almost every market in the US and the world. The potential for untapped prospects in these networking groups are endless. Several of these groups require no fees or are minimal in annual dues.

Do some research to see if any of these networking groups are of interest to you. One option might be to start your own networking group. Invite likeminded professionals to meet once or twice a month to share ideas and exchange knowledge. This will always give you more control on how many people you want in the group and the different types of business professionals you want to attend.

As business entrepreneurs, we want more prospects, clients, customers and the like. With the same goals in mind, we can share ideas and meet new and exciting people. Business success always begins with getting in front of people, communicating and sharing our knowledge.

Be sure you bring several business cards. Give at least two business cards to everyone you meet. You will want to envision this person giving your card to one of their friends or colleagues as well.

Most networking groups will start off by allowing you to introduce yourself. Take about two minutes to "tout" yourself, your product and your services. You will be in the "spotlight" for a brief moment, so make the best of it. Practice and rehearse what you will say when called upon. This will be your moment to put forth your best impression.

Prior to joining or starting your own networking group, do your homework. If you are joining a new group, ask what types of businesses attend and the number of people attending. If you are starting your own group, be sure you include of variety of professions that you think will be beneficial to everyone. It could definitely be more advantageous the more variety of knowledge and experience you have. Ask yourself how their fields of expertise and yours could enhance everyone's business.

Especially in today's economy, face to face networking is very inexpensive. The success and knowledge you will be able to gain in a short amount of your time will be priceless. You will hear other success stories, meet new people, make a few friends and will be able to interact with one another to achieve your common goals.


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