Networking Excuses Obstacles Rewards

Networking Excuses Obstacles Rewards

Networking - Excuses, Obstacles, Rewards
If you are in​ business, your mission includes reaching out to​ prospects that have a​ need you can fill .​
If you want to​ keep the​ doors to​ your business open, you can’t hide under a​ rock or​ in​ a​ cave and​ expect prospects to​ beat a​ path to​ your secret lair .​
You have to​ reach out in​ effective ways to​ let people know who you are and​ how you can solve their critical problems .​
One of​ the​ easiest and​ most immediate ways to​ market your business is​ through personal networking .​
You can hire a​ business development person to​ do this for​ you .​
But if​ it’s your business (no matter if​ you have 0 employees or​ 110 employees) you still need to​ get out there and​ take a​ pulse on the​ market, make connections and​ create the​ opportunities .​
Not everyone is​ a​ strong advocate of​ networking .​
It takes some effort, commitment and​ time .​
I​ talk to​ a​ lot of​ people who have a​ myriad of​ excuses why they can’t do networking .​
I​ agree there are plenty of​ excuses and​ obstacles to​ keep all of​ us away from live networking completely .​
See if​ you recognize even a​ few of​ these:
It takes time away from work
It takes time away from my family
It costs too much
It’s too far way – inconvenient, wrong direction, I​ don’t know how to​ get there
I get stuck in​ rush hour traffic to​ get there
There’s no parking/Parking costs too much to​ attend
I don’t like the​ food/There’s no food
I don’t drink/ I​ don’t golf/There’s no beer/wine
I don’t know anyone going
I’m not a​ member
I don’t know what to​ say
I went once, it​ didn’t work for​ me
I admit that on occasion a​ few of​ these slip in​ to​ my self-talk too .​
On the​ flip side, there are terrific rewards for​ investing the​ time and​ effort in​ networking .​
See if​ any of​ these benefits sound appealing:
It’s fun and​ friendly– people are there to​ meet new people, to​ explore connections and​ set up follow-up meetings .​
You meet many people fast – so often isn’t it​ timing that makes things come together?
You meet people who in​ some way are pre-qualified for​ your product or​ service by being members of​ the​ group or​ attending that particular meeting .​
People who attend networking events have an​ agenda and​ they will tell you why they are there – the​ openness and​ directness is​ so productive .​
Something leads to​ something – whether you are looking for​ clients, vendors, professional services, a​ new job, or​ contacts at​ a​ particular company; if​ you put it​ out there, you are bound to​ get a​ few hits (6 Degrees of​ Separation Theory) .​
If you keep your product/service a​ secret, no one can know how great you/your company are .​
Practice/refine your elevator speech – here’s an​ event where you’ll get to​ practice in​ front of​ a​ group at​ least once, and​ 1-on-1 at​ least another few times around the​ room .​
You get to​ do it​ in​ the​ time it​ would take to​ introduce yourself to​ one new prospect from a​ cold call .​
Professional friendships – attending networking events regularly, you will build up rapport with people as​ they get to​ know, respect and​ trust you .​
Get your nose out of​ your day-to- day business and​ get a​ pulse on the​ marketplace – clients won’t come to​ you unless they know you can take away their pain .​
Networking gives you a​ chance to​ assess the​ market and​ know where the​ trends are headed .​
The most important time to​ network is​ when you don’t need clients or​ a​ job .​
It takes a​ good six months of​ networking actively and​ consistently to​ see an​ impact, which is​ where the​ consistency comes in .​
Now here’s the​ newest form of​ networking that is​ taking off around the​ globe – online networking .​
If you have not plugged in​ to​ any of​ the​ online groups you are missing out .​
Many have a​ free option .​
Here are a​ few strong ones I​ belong to:
www.linkedin .​
www.ecademy .com
www.meetup .​
If you’d like to​ join my network on any of​ them, send me an​ email and​ I’ll send you the​ invitation link .​
The key to​ effectiveness online is​ to​ stay in​ touch – at​ least touch base every 6-8 weeks .​
These online networking groups are more responsive in​ many ways than a​ lot of​ the​ forums and​ email lists .​
On many of​ them, if​ you respond or​ engage with people, you increase your self worth in​ the​ eyes of​ the​ group .​
There is​ a​ difference .​
Online, you are casting a​ broad net, less selectively .​
In live networking, you can be very selective in​ choosing which group you attend and​ who you speak to​ in​ that group .​
Here are two books on networking with an​ emphasis on online networking:
Endless Referrals - by Bob Burg
Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty - by Harvey McKay
Networking can become addictive, once you get over the​ excuses .​
Remember, it’s only one step in​ the​ process .​
You still need to​ bring people through your marketing funnel.

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