"To be successful, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be satisfied with your personality to be able to do business with you and to build a relationship with mutual trust."
Successful networking is all about making connections and building mutually beneficial business relationships.
In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with sales messages everywhere we look, networking is the one form of marketing where you can build a relationship and some trust first. These relationships allow you to stand out from the crowd and rise above the relentless noise of traditional marketing techniques.
Networking is beneficial in so many ways, my career is testament to this and the thousands of people we have trained over the last decade agree that it is a critical skill to master. Here are just some of the reasons why it’s so important for you…
1. It enables you to find opportunities. The saying “It’s not what you know but who you know” is a popular one, because it’s true! You never know who you’ll meet at a networking event. Many people have met their biggest ever money earning contact through networking, mainly because the person-to-person trust building works so well.
2. You’ll receive great advice. Business contacts are not just for exchanging services and products. Having a network of business connections you can speak to and ask questions of is invaluable in the business world, and giving and receiving advice is part of this. It’s particularly valuable if you run your business alone.
3. Your network will talk about you. Once you make a few valuable connections, there’s a good chance these people will spread the word about you (and hopefully you’ll return the favour!). They can potentially refer you to others, add you to their communities, share some links for you (excellent for SEO!) and introduce you to more people.
4. You’ll be the first to hear about new jobs. Whether it’s a contracting role, a new business venture or a promotion, networking can expose you to the approximate 80% of jobs that are never advertised. People generally look to who they know and ask for recommendations when they’re hiring, and will only advertise as a last resort.
Networking is a hugely valuable skill to have. It’s important not to go to networking events with a one-track mind that you must make a sale. Remember the value of the connections you’ll potentially make. It may not be an immediate and direct sale, but there are a ton of other benefits that come from making these connections.
Interested in improving your networking skills and investing in your career/ business? Find out more about our in-house business network training programs and see how you’ll benefit from it.