The most effective way to build your business is to build relationships with other business owners. That is why joining a networking group is such an advantage to you and your business, people want to do business with people they know, like and trust and networking groups provide an excellent forum to get to know people.
I would like to share a few of my thoughts for you to consider;
Small groups are less intimidating and you will find that people will gel better. On your first visit arrive early so that you get the chance to chat to the organiser and ask who else will be attending. Ask for an introduction to the first members to arrive.
Small groups make it easy for you to get into conversation, people are keen to chat. Try to remember little facts about the people you meet such as sports they enjoy, family member achievements or pets so that you have something to chat about next time you meet.
Go into a networking group with the objective of learning about the other people in the room.
Do not try to sell; networking groups are designed for building relationships, not selling. When someone asks you what you do, just answer the question briefly and wait until that person requests a one to one meeting to find out more about your business..
Become good at your 60 second pitch; remember that each person in that room has a lot of contacts that they may be able to refer you to. The key to success is that each member understands what you do and exactly what you are looking for.
Change your pitch regularly so that people listen; if you want to be remembered do something different like taking an object and using it in relation to your business. One good example I have seen recently is an IFA with a climbing rope, he hopes he never has to use it but it will keep him safe if the worse happens!
Always ask someone how you can be of help to him or her and really mean it.
You should view joining a group as a long term investment. Membership usually costs about the equivalent of two half page adverts in a local magazine, but the return on investment is far greater.
There are lots of benefits of joining a networking group besides gaining business referrals, being an owner of a small business can be a lonely, networking groups will include people from different backgrounds with a wealth of experience round the table and they will all be willing to help. In fact in Business for Breakfast we build a learning point into the agenda.
And the greatest advantage once you are an established member of a group, each member becomes a sales person for the other members and you achieve an unpaid sales-force for your business, this is the true power of joining a network referral group.
Joan Edwards, Regional Director, Business for Breakfast (Rutland & Leicestershire)
Member since: 2nd July 2012
I am the local Leicester word of mouth specialist. I bring great ways to generate more local business but only for those who provide superb service to their customers.
I love helping others and enjoy...