By Kelli C. Holmes
Networking // Pronunciation Key[net-wur-king] (as defined by the Small Business Glossary):
Developing business contacts to form business relationships; increase your knowledge; expand your business base; and serve the community.
Wow – I don’t know about you, but I think that is an AWESOME definition of networking!
Let’s break it down and review how to be really effective in our networking:
Developing business contacts…
Lots of us do this ALL the time. We are out at networking events in our community, meeting people, collecting business cards, making connections. Then what?
…to form business relationships
Oh, you mean actual RELATIONSHIPS! Developing relationships takes time and effort! You need to reach out to those you want to have a relationship with!
…increase your knowledge
Peter Drucker, that sage of business management said “if you’re not growing you’re dying”. That not only applies to business, but to our minds as well.
…expand your business base
We must be continually adding to our prospects. We need a constant source of new business possibilities in order to increase our opportunities!
…and serve the community
This is the really important part and often the overlooked part of networking. We all have a responsibility to give back to the community we take from. Why not incorporate it into your daily marketing activities?
Effective Networking –
- Is an acquired skill that needs to be honed and practiced daily.
- Can and should become a way of life.
- Is one of the most powerful techniques you can master to succeed in almost any endeavor!