Understanding Business Networking

Advertising and marketing are not the only means that makes a business be filled with customers and clients. Referrals and networking do more for business. Building a web of contacts of clients and resources can be the difference between success and failure. One of the fastest growing techniques for client attraction is business networking. Networking is creating relationships that can lead to sales. It is the marketing strategy that can super-size your business.

The term business networking refers to the practice of people spreading knowledge of their business, products, and services to others in a manner that leaves a good impression, lets people recall you and your business, and encourages the formation of strategic alliances. Business networking is more about making yourself and your company, product or service attractive to others than just selling to them. It is a process of meeting and familiarizing with others, and building relationships that are important to the success of your business.

Business networking is also about creating a relationship with other businesses. Consider what you can learn from a competitor, what you can share with a business in a related niche? How many ways can you think of to 'share' with another business? What can you give as 'added value' to a prospect? What social platform can you use to attract prospects? What information are you willing to share freely? What is it about yourself that will encourage other business owners to refer someone to you? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before embarking on some serious business networking.

Networking is done by connecting to different key people over time. It is about moving people into your marketing funnel. What you need to do is to decide on your target market and use that information to determine on where the most suitable networking opportunities may be found, i.e., where do your target customers 'hang out'? You need to create happy customers. Once you have created happy clients out of them, they will refer you to other people as well. Your marketing funnel is a process where people first get to know you, then buy from you, then refer others to you. Think of it as a spiral - the more people go down your funnel, the more money you make.

With successful business networking, you can find avenues of opportunity that you may have otherwise not discovered. To succeed in business networking, you have to be prepared to work hard, make decisions, and spend money where it matters. I.e., you can consider contacting prominent networking organizations which have successfully build models of business networking activity.

An important thing to consider when networking is the golden opportunity to bring your personal or business brand forward and raise it to the attention of everyone you speak to. There is far more to branding than just focusing on its during a business networking function. But you must always have your brand top of mind so that you are putting your best foot forward at all times.

Today businesses are increasingly using social networks as a means of creating and growing network circle of contacts to promote their business online. With the global business expansion, social networks make it easier to keep in touch with other business contacts around the world. Face-to-face networking through referral business clubs also has the potential for higher quality business relationships.

Source: Liverpool News, Industry News, Paul Ayyash Consulting.

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