- First, let’s establish what business networking is not. It is not merely exchanging business cards and collecting contacts on social media. And it is not all about YOU. It is about what you can do for others—how you can help and how you can add value for those you meet.
- Business networking is
- Cultivating meaningful and profitable relationships.
- Leveraging your connections for personal and business growth.
- Adding value with those you network with.
- Sharing ideas, leads and connections.
- Connecting with people online, in person, and on the phone to create mutually advantageous opportunities.
- Using marketing techniques—like video, press releases, social media, advertising—to connect with your market and deliver a compelling message.
Who does Business Networking Benefit?
Business networking is an essential tool for anyone who depends on networking to grow a business or find a job.
- Business owners AND their employees Everyone in your organization needs to be equipped with networking skills. You never know who your employees will encounter. Even people who are not in sales roles will at some point be asked to describe the company they work for and what they do. What better PR than an employee who describes your company in a memorable way?
- Sales professionals Typically, people in sales roles go through product and sales training and are then expected to network to generate qualified leads. Instead of struggling with uncertainty, by learning the Network PRo process for networking—including the steps they need to take to network effectively—your team will be more productive.
- Business professionals All business professionals use some form of networking to grow their business, whether through face-to-face or online interactions or through referrals. The Network PRo Toolkit provides access to a system that will help you increase your ability to make more meaningful connections. This is especially useful for people who rely on traditional methods of business development. If you continue to do business today with yesterday’s technology, you increase your chances of going out of business tomorrow. With continually changing protocols, it is more important than ever to keep up with the times.
- Job Seekers All job seekers should embrace networking to interact and connect with people that can help them get interviews. The process outlined in The Network PRo Toolkit enables you to make the right connections necessary to increase your likelihood of getting interviews. This job market is extremely competitive and it is more important than ever for you to stand apart from your competitors and attract the attention of the hiring manager. Your resume is only the first step, now you need to get beyond the resume using strategic networking tactics.
The Network PRo Toolkit is a remarkable marketing resource that you can integrate into your overall marketing strategy to help you navigate the world of business networking.
Why Is Business Networking Important?
Business networking helps you establish essential professional relationships in ways that you can’t through other traditional marketing methods like advertising, promotions, social media, resumes and direct mail. Networking is a method of interacting with others to lay the groundwork for sharing business leads. When business networking is done well, these connections will be warm leads.
What’s the difference between a cold and a warm lead? A cold lead knows nothing about you and what’s important to you. When most people receive a piece of mail, an email, or a cold call from someone they don’t know, they typically throw away, delete, or hang up. Because there’s no personal connection, the recipients aren’t willing to take time out of an already busy day. They are far more likely to respond warmly to an individual who has been referred by a mutual acquaintance. Not only do you have a better chance of getting your foot in the door with warm leads, you also have a much greater probability of turning them into sales. For job seekers, a “sale” is getting that interview and ultimately a job.
A warm lead is someone you are referred to by a respected associate who has established that some common connection between the two of you warrants an introduction. For example, you have been actively searching for a website designer. You have interviewed several and even started to work with one person, but it isn’t working out. Your former and well-respected colleague calls to tell you about a designer he has experience with who does fantastic work. What are the chances you will call this person before searching the Web or the yellow pages?
How Much Networking Should You Do?
How much networking you should do depends on what you want to accomplish in your role as a business owner, non-sales employee, sales person or job seeker. In addition, no matter how much time and money you spend on networking, if this is not translating into profitable business results, then chances are you are not embracing business networking best practices. It can be hard to balance the time you spend networking with the day-to-day responsibilities of your job.
The Networking PRo Toolkit is designed to lead you through the process of becoming the best networker you can be and optimizing your time and dollars spend networking. By following the toolkit’s 6 steps, you will learn the skills needed to ensure you are spending your time and money in the right places.