25 Ways for Networking, Building Relationships and Having a FUN, FEARLESS and FOCUSED Business!
By Shelley M. Mitchell
From: 30 Days to Having a FUN, FEARLESS and FOCUSED Business!
Networking, is a cornerstone for growing a successful business whether it’s in your job description or not; but it can be easy and doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Learn 25 simple MUST-DO tips for Business Owners, Executives, Leaders, Managers and Entrepreneurs on how to effectively networking and build relationships plus understand WHY it’s so important and the top 3 reasons why they just don’t do it.
In my upcoming book “How to Get & KEEP What You Really Really Want”, I outline a plan for being FUN, FEARLESS and FOCUSED in order to reach your dreams and goals in your business. There is an entire chapter on Networking and Building Relationships but I wanted to share a few of the tips with you here. I hope you enjoy them and can truly benefit from one or more of these.
Networking is essential to effective leadership in today’s organizations. Whether you own your own business, are thinking about starting one, are a manager of a team/department or are a top Leader/Executive of a large organization, it’s important to know that networking and building relationships is a critical and important role you play whether it’s in your job description or not. How well you network and build relationships can truly make or break your success in your role. Leaders who are skilled networkers have access to people, information, and resources to help solve problems and create opportunities. Leaders who neglect their networks are missing out on a critical component of their role as leaders. So, if it’s so important then why do we have such a difficult time doing it? I believe there are several reasons. First, we don’t know how. Second, we don’t realize the importance of it because we don’t know how and haven’t experienced the results and third, because we let everything else get in the way because of #1 and #2. So let’s strategize.
My company, My Personal Business Coach, helps smart, creative entrepreneurs with the PLANNING but most importantly, with Accountability, all by using our 5 Step Success System and Methodology: In our system, each step is individually tailored towards the goals you want to reach and the challenges you want to overcome. Briefly, those steps are:
- Clarifying Your Direction–
- Strategizing Your Actions- (See Networking and Leadership below)
- Upgrading Your Skills and/or knowledge (when necessary)-
- Optimizing Your Environment (Oreos out of the pantry theory) – Eliminate distractions and tolerations that may cause you to procrastinate or get overwhelmed –
- Mastering Your Psychology –
Today’s focus is on Networking and Leadership which is a part of “Strategizing Your Actions”. Here are some of my tips for Networking, Building Relationships and creating consistent referrals (not necessarily in order of importance)
- TALK to your current clients and find out how they heard about you, where they hang out, their social circles, etc. (ask for Referrals)
- HAVE a PLAN
- EVERYONE is NOT your CUSTOMER (know what makes you different and who your ideal clients are. Who do you love working with?)
- Open Ended Questions are much better questions to ask when talking to someone. You find out so much more.
- Notice something unique/different about the person you have met or are in conversation with. This helps build rapport
- Every day, have consistent follow up
- Create and Maintain a list of contacts
- Know the Rules of engagement
- The philosophy of networking – Networking is a career-long challenge and not a one-time or linear task. Networking does not stop
10. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up – It typically takes 9-13 contacts with a person before they actually become a paying client/customer.
11. Use Tools for networking
12. Treat everyone you meet as if they are the most important person in your life at that moment; because THEY ARE.
13. Join professional and alumni organizations, clubs, societies, etc. that will help expand the network you are trying to create. Volunteering and/or taking leadership roles increases your visibility and reflects well on you
14. Stay positive and grateful. Do not try to shame, guilt or strong-arm others into helping you. Let those with whom you network have full control over the timing and duration of your contact and meetings with them.
15. Make sure to remind people of who you are and how they know you to avoid their embarrassment and confusion if they do not recognize you.
16. Do not lie or misrepresent yourself. Be genuine and authentic, look people in the eye and tell the truth, and build trust with the people in your network.
17. Spend more time listening than talking. Ask open-ended questions (who, what, where, when, why and how) to open up the discussion and to show listeners that you are interested in them.
18. Network when you are in a state of mind that enables you to be positive and charismatic rather than cloying or annoying.
19. Do not harangue people from whom you seek help. Be respectful of their time and the limits they set. Do not rely on them to help you overcome ambivalence or to make critical decisions for you.
20. Always have business cards and a current resume available.
21. Know that YOU are the face, the voice and the reputation of your business. Therefore, when networking, do try to always look, speak and act the way you want your business portrayed
22. Track it – you can’t build it if you can’t track it. Have a CRM or some system that works for you to keep track of your leads, the people you meet and all of your contacts with them.
23. Sequencing – use sequencing emails in your customer contact follow up system and always have a call to action.
24. Book it – I always try to meet TWO key people whenever I speak or go to a networking event and rather than say “I’ll call you”, I do my very best to get at least one appointment or “coffee date” in my calendar before I leave and always follow up with the second. Less stress and overwhelm and this practice has helped me build momentum in my business. It’s also much easier to get an appointment with someone when you are in conversation with them in person. The “I’ll Call You” method is not quite as effective
25. Do NOT give away anything for FREE… without of course, getting someone’s contact information and permission or by letting them know you will follow up to see how they liked the sample, enjoyed the article, etc or can get their opinion. Then follow up…
There are many other tips I could share but if the most important thing I leave you with can only be one tip, I would say CONSISTENCY, FOLLOW UP and CONSISTENT FOLLOW UP are the most important things you can do to build relationships. Furthermore, If you are in a SERVICE business, DO NOT TRY TO HIRE THIS OUT! You cannot hire an assistant to build your relationships for you and do your follow up calls to book appointments with potential clients. Having an assistant is very important if you feel you do not have time to network or follow up but you should utilize an assistant to do all of the things that get in your way of BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS but definitely not to build them for you.
Happy Networking and Relationship Building!
My Personal Business Coach LLC is a Business Coaching and Consulting Company. Shelley Mitchell, President and creator of the Right Brain Solution (tools for the creative entrepreneur), Speaker and Author of the forthcoming Book Series “How to Get & Keep What you Really, Really Want” is an expert at helping Smart, Driven Entrepreneurs get UnStuck, Unstressed and Out of Overwhelm. We help you determine your VALUES, develop your MISSION, choose your STRATEGIES, create a step by step PLAN, FOCUS on your PRIORITIES and then take ACTION to reach your dreams and goals so you can make more money and have better work/life balance. If you would like to find out My Personal Business Coach can help you grow your business or know if we are the right fit, go to http://www.MyPersonalBusinessCoach.com and set up a complimentary consultation to review your current goals, challenges, etc.
Click here to GET YOUR FREE WEEKLY SUCCESS PLANNER www.MyPersonalBusinessCoach.com