NetWORKing: The Most Powerful Business Tool
DIY Sprocket Solutions
This is an update to "’NetWORKing” dated 11/28/2012.
Networking is work, let’s face it. If you’re new to the game, you’re walking into a room full of strangers and trying to sell your business. In reality, you’re trying to sell yourself. You are the face of what you’re representing. Therefore, you’ve got to network confidently and often. It’s OK, wipe off your sweaty palms and listen in.
The first time I went to a networking event I was more than slightly terrified. I’m not a shy person by any means; so, I can only imagine what it would be like if I were. I felt a small victory every time I exchanged a business card. My total count for the end of the night? About 6. Laugh away, but I felt a rush of confidence after that event. I think the idea of walking into a room full of people you don’t know and having to approach each one of them is more than a little unnerving.
One thing that I don’t doubt, however, is that networking is invaluable. It is an amazing tool for small businesses to meet the community, find other businesses who might be able to use their services, and make their name recognizable. Word of mouth and a face to a name is a powerful tool in the business world; connections often prove priceless. So, I say to you –chin up, head high, gather your wits, and say hello.
The benefits themselves are easy to see:
- You’re establishing a personal relationship. You can connect with people on a more meaningful and personal level. When you reach out to that person in the future, they are much more likely to respond in a positive way. You are building a relationship as well as a business contact.
- You can network virtually anywhere. Really, look around you. There are business chamber of commerce events across the country. Those events have opened doors to countless professional connections, clients and referrals. You are only widening your own scope and your own reach for your business. Trust me, it’s worth it.
- You’re a walking talking advertisement. Look at you, spreading your company’s name all around town. With that smile and great handshake you’re making quite the impression. I’d say it’s a lot cheaper and a ton more meaningful than that Facebook ad you just placed.
- You just guaranteed yourself an excuse for a follow up. You just met someone that you spent an hour and a half talking to. You got to know one another both professionally and personally. Reach out, follow up, seal that connection.
Don’t know where to start? Find out what your local chamber is. The events are listed right on the page. Guests are welcome. Get out there and netWORK!