Networking in business is one of the best resources for professional success. It is defined as the act of maintaining a personal and professional contact list that you can use to help further your career or meet a potential new customer. Your network comprises all the people you interact with, all of whom could potentially offer you valuable professional assistance or even that next sale. To create and maintain a beneficial network, you must intentionally seek opportunities to grow and expand your network. Here are a few networking opportunities that you should seek out and engage in.
Building relationships and credibility is crucial to the process. Social media is a helpful tool for creating connections. It is a two-way communication channel that lets you establish rapport with your clients and prospects. It can be as simple as reading and replying to comments or acknowledging audience feedback.
CASUAL CONTACT NETWORKING
If you are looking for ways to meet many people in one day, casual networking is the best way to go. These groups allow you to meet people you can develop into referral partnerships or potential customers.
Typically, this would be your local chamber of commerce. They will hold regular business networking events, so joining one can gain you access to opportunities like building brand exposure and meeting potential clients. It can also help you create a positive brand perception in your local market.
A leads group is the largest segment of business networking that you can attend for the goal of giving and receiving referrals. Meetings are structured for all members to provide them with a fair chance to participate. There’s open networking, and it follows a designed meeting agenda that focuses on administrative matters, education, and feedback.
One of the primary benefits of this type of business networking is exclusivity. It’s usually limited to one profession per industry, giving a member a competitive edge over non-members.
One example of this business networking type is BNI. Thousands of businesses worldwide utilize the networking organization to start their companies and obtain valuable sales referrals.
A professional association exposes you to different knowledge and skills that can benefit your business. It often holds events where you can learn from industry leaders, collaborate with other professionals, and share insights with a large group.
Most of its members are usually from a specific industry, such as finance, accounting, health, or engineering. These groups will usually have an associate member category that you can join that will allow you to join networking events, conferences, and other events. An excellent professional network for commercial accounts would be International Facility Management Association or Association for Facilities Engineering.
It would be best if you never went into any networking opportunity to sell, sell, sell. Because if you do, you will fail, fail, fail. To get the most out of any networking opportunity, you need to commit to it for the long haul and be consistent. You need to engage with your network first to build trust before you can expect to generate sales leads for your business.
Build your network and become the trusted pest management authority. When you have achieved this the benefits will come your way.