The Power of Networking

Let’s start off with what is networking?  Networking is getting yourself
out there to like-minded individuals like yourself. Remember the old
saying, “You can’t have too many friends.” Well, you can’t have too many
connections either. Take every opportunity to make connections.  Always,
and I mean ALWAYS, carry business cards. You never know when you may meet
someone.
  The easiest way to start networking is at an event, be it a Chamber
of Commerce after hours or an event put on by others in the community.
The Blue Focus puts on three or four events a year. Go to these events.
I know you will have business cards you are handing out, but that is not
the end of networking. You must follow-up on these interactions to build
a bridge. We all have cards in our wallet that we have no idea how they
got there. That is not helping your business.  Build a rapport with
these contacts. Then you are in the forefront of thier mind. So when a
friend of theirs asks for a connection on a specific business, YOU are
the card they will remember and share with their friend. To prevent you
from being the person looking at a card and not knowing when or where
you got it, I do a simple thing. Make notes on the back of the card as to
where and when you got it. Jot down something from the interaction you
had to jog your memory later. Put something personal you learned down
also. For example, you could write something like they are going on a trip.
So when you interact later you can ask how the trip went. This will personalize
 you to the contact as a friend. People want to help friends. Hopefully
you will be going to a lot of events, so you will need this reminder later.
The more contacts you create, the better chance of success.
  We as business owners have worked extremely hard to get where we are.
Your connections have worked hard also. It is rewarding to help other
hard working people. You will feel better about yourself by helping
them to a possible client or customer through your connection. They will in
turn do the same for you when the opportunity arises. Networking helps
everyone. You have a duty to yourself and your business to make the most
of this opprotunity. Follow these suggestions and be a better networker.
If you have some ideas for others, feel free to respond with your ideas.
Remember we are all in this together.
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