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Business networking: is it building your business, or holding it back?

A successful network is a many faceted thing! 

Hands up all those who undertake some ‘networking’ from time to time?

OK, OK, silly question!

In reality, almost all of us do it, in some form or another, almost all of the time, don’t we?

But is your ‘networking’ giving your business the best chance of growing, or is actually holding it back?

As always with these things, it’s very much a case of working out which network development opportunities are best for you and your business.

First of all, your network needs to work for you, and be worked by you. As such, it needs to contain:

  • Great value suppliers
  • Profitable, reliable, regular customers
  • Highly respected, well-connected referrers

In other words, everyone you meet could potentially be a great contact for you. 

The key is to be remembered, and for you to be remembered there are some important yet simple things you can do:

  • Let people get to know the ‘real’ you – this doesn’t meant you have to give them your life story, but let them undertsand that you’re actually a real human being, just like them, and not a robot that just presents a professional ‘mask’ all of the time that prevents any ‘connection’
  • Make sure you can recognise a potential customer when you meet one (see below)
  • Tell people what you do (have an impact!) not your job title!
  • Let them know about your AFTERs – what they will be left with after they have worked with you!
  • Differentiate yourself from your competitors, and finally….
  • Say less, not more, and don’t waffle!

To recognise your customers, try answering these 3 questions – collectively, they’ll create a ‘picture’ of your ‘ideal’ customers:

  1. Think of the customer that has paid you the most money over the last year. What did they do?
  2. Think of the customer who was the most enjoyable to work with over the last year (even if you didn’t charge them anything). What did they do?
  3. Think of the customer who created the greatest success for you over the last year (e.g.: raising your profile, great PR, etc). What did they do?

Obviously, developing that successful network will take a lot more too, but hopefully these tips will get you going.

If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.

To find out more about improving your network and networking, as well as the benefits of professional coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

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