In business time is precious so have you ever asked yourself – How important is business networking?
Have you ever stopped and looked back at how you arrived at your current destination / position in the business world or how you won a client that turned out to be the golden goose ?
Were there people who advised you, helped you or opened a door that was difficult to open or you didn’t even realise there was a door?
It’s all about business networking and connecting with the right people. We can all look back and claim some points in helping people get to where they got, made a connection or sent their details when someone was looking for their service.
A good wind, a touch of luck and the right approach can go along way to developing relationships and our goals and ambitions and ultimately expand your network.
Networking events can put the shivers down the spines of even the most confident and they don’t like to participate in networking activities but networking isn’t just going to a breakfast meeting – networking is far more reaching – don’t forget business social events are equally important.. Its connections, introductions, knowledge share, listening, helping and ultimately broadening your knowledge.
There is degree of luck – the right crowd on the day, the right seating position, the right guest speaker and the right you ! Are you up for the challenge and are you hungry to network and learn about someone else’s business before you tell them about yours and with an open mind?
“Ability is of little account without opportunity.” Napoleon Bonaparte
Like a marketing awareness campaign – networking in a broadest sense is about growing awareness, recall and reputation of you personally. Being at the right place at the right time or meeting the right people at the right time is key to success.
We don’t like being sold too, we like to feel empowered to make our decisions and meeting prospective suppliers, clients or professional acquaintances can go a long way to help developing your business connections and network. Suppliers may also be the route to a new client!
Making a small change can sometimes be all it needs to set you on a new path of hope and prosperity and in most cases the opportunities are there but its a state of mind. Join networking groups, attend events and establish a regular routine of attending and raising your personal profile. This builds your own confidence but also people get to know you, familiar face and this goes a long way to start establishing yourself on the networking circuit. Always mindful of your objectives and what you want to gain from the meetings.
“I don’t do networking”. “I’m too shy” “I don’t do well in large groups” “It’s not my thing” “I’m not very sociable” ” I started networking but got too busy”. But breaking down the perceptions of networking will go along way to over coming some of the invisible hurdles in your way.
Face to face networking improves and having the opportunity to talk to people improves your chances of finding a new contact, business owners, business partners or client and changing your routine / approach to networking will provide that extra bit of luck that we all need sometimes.
Dr Robert Wiseman’s top selling book The Luck Factor is a great resource for such anecdotes and helps overcome some of the fears and mis understandings about being lucky and this can be applied to networking .
His 4 principles:-
1.Maximising chance opportunities
2.Listening to your inner hunches
3.Expect good fortune – positive thinking
4.Turn bad luck to good !
So, if you are looking to grow your business and make a change in 2019 look for networking opportunities in your area. Reflect about your past networking experiences and how to improve and how you can embrace and explore the vast opportunities out there.
Go find those business cards and if you find a golden goose – look after it !