Networking, Is it Worth it?
It is little secret that networking has a strong reputation in the world of business. If you are like many people; however, you may have found yourself wondering whether networking is really worth the time and effort.
In a word, the answer is yes!
It's who you know that counts
Ultimately, it is not what you know, but who you know that counts. Networking can prove to be crucial for businesses in any industry and of any size. It is actually among the best ways to establish connections and promote your business. Along with finding new clients, networking also allows you to discover new vendors, partners, and even employees who can assist you in taking your business to the next level. It should be kept in mind that networking does not typically provide new business on an overnight basis. Like most other things in life, it is a process that requires time and also must be nurtured to obtain the best results.
The key to networking!
Many people naturally dread the idea of making small talk while trying to network at social and business events. The key to making such events work is to simply relax and be yourself. While it is certainly important to talk about your business, it is also important to talk about other things you enjoy, including your family and even hobbies or sports. You might be surprised to discover what you have in common with others.
Networking at events can help you to lay the groundwork for future successful business endeavours, but you must learn to follow-up to reap the full potential of networking. In this regard, it is not unlike dating. It is a balancing act. You certainly do not want to follow up too quickly, but you should not wait too long, either. Entering contact names into a management tool, such as Outlook or your iPhone can help you to remember to follow up with a brief note. Personalize the note by bringing up tidbits from that initial conversation, such as hobbies you have in common or business activities.
Where to find networking events?
Where exactly do you go to find events worthy of networking? You might be surprised to discover how many worthwhile events are in your own vicinity. It can also be beneficial to check with friends and colleagues about events they have found to be helpful.
Who can benefit from networking?
Networking can prove to be particularly beneficial for businesses that experience long sales cycles. Compared to many other methods, networking is also one of the most cost-effective methods available for finding and closing customers. Certainly, it can be time-consuming, but when handled properly, it can also pay off handsomely.
It is likely no secret that there are people within your own community who are considered to be well connected. You can rest assured that networking is how they attained that reputation. Spending the time necessary to be considered a regular at local events can help you to become regarded as someone who is also well connected and provide you with the opportunity to cultivate high value contacts.