A good definition of the following subject would be: “One person with a need contacts another with a resource and networking begins.” The success of networking is when the relationship is reciprocal. If the flow of helpful information is not “give and take,” the chances are that such a relationship will fade away.
If you plan the networking game seriously, there are some unwritten rules expected, namely that eventually the chips will be called. In other words, if you are a recipient of some business, you can be under moral obligation to some day respond in kind. You should not seek business by networking unless the favour can be returned. Successful networking is a long-term endeavour. The more you give, the more you will receive. Networking is an effective marketing tool that involves trust. “What goes around comes around.” Here then, are a few recommendations:
Guideline 1 Select your contacts carefully
If you expect your mutual networking relationship to be most effective, select only a few contacts per category in one geographic area so you will create a meaningful relationship.
Guideline 2 Respond quickly and report back
In order to handle the business lead most effectively, follow through expeditiously, and most importantly, report back to the person who gave you the referral with a status report.
Guideline 3 Qualify the referral before meeting
Before racing off to the potential client, try to fully understand the other person’s expectations. If you ask a few hard questions about the company’s condition and its expectations, you may save yourself myself a lengthy trip.
Guideline 4 Update your contact card base
Space may be tight on the back of a contact card, but it is a good idea to note the date, event, introduction, highlight and follow-up action.
Guideline 5 Reintroduce yourself
Rather than wait for people to remember you, go right up to them and reintroduce yourself. Put people at ease by announcing your name upfront. If you are at a scheduled meeting it is fine to exchange business cards at the conference table, but if you are meeting for the first time at a function, it is very tacky to exchange cards until a certain rapport has been established following your conversation. Be discreet. It is better to politely ask for the other person’s card before you foist your card on them.
Guideline 6 Get in contact regularly
Even when there is little happening, the other person may be pleasantly surprised by your phone call. They may have had plans for you without your realising it, and if so, then keeping in contact is a great way to ensure that this happens.
Guideline 7 Schedule What Makes A Good Consultant Mckinsey right now
How many times have you seen an important networking business contact at a meeting and he or she says: “Let’s get together for lunch sometime.” CARPE DIEM. Which means seize the day.
Pull out your schedule and set Lawyer For Business Startup a date right then and there.
Guideline 8 Leverage your association relationships
Most business people belong to at least one industry association. Whatever your organisation, if you and another client are both members of this organisation, then you share common ground there and then. Going to meetings organised by these bodies is also a great way to meet new clients that you may not have considered before.
Guideline 9 Networking needs a two-way relationship
Proper networking should have the potential of being a two-way street. Some of these callers say: “Your friend, John Smith, suggested I call you.” The proper protocol for effective networking, in this case, is for John Smith to call first to initially discuss the matter.
Guideline 10 Plan your work, work your plan
Networking is most effective when it is planned. Starting from scratch and competing with the well-established businesses needs a good plan. So aim to put yourself out there. Attend at least one marketing or networking event every day of the working week, and market yourself so that as many people get to know of you and your reputation. Word of mouth is one of the best tools in the industry.