If networking intimidates you—or you think you’re all set and don’t need to do it to begin with!—think again. Refer back to these tips the next time you’re looking for a reference for a personal or business service, a job lead, a new hire, or any number of other things a strong network can provide.
The difference between givers who climb the success ladder and those who struggle comes in who they do their giving to. The most successful givers are strategic when they give: they will give generously to fellow givers as well as to takers, but they will be very cautious about giving to takers.
It’s not about you. That’s the secret that every person needs to learn in business—it’s not about you. It’s about helping others, about putting what other people need ahead of what you want. The secret to business is providing value to your customers, not looking for ways to make money for yourself.
If a business owner were just thinking of himself or herself, then the business would never make it. Sure, things might be ok for a little while, but long-term sustainable success only comes when your business is focused on other people. Going for a win is not enough; you need the win-win.
When you’re networking, it’s important to get outside of your comfort zone and meet new people, and not just stay put with what you already know. And when you get out there, a friendly approach that focuses on building real relationships will be more effective than just looking to get something.
The cost of marketing your business to new customers is a huge expense for small businesses, and the results are uncertain while you’re spending the money. One way to use your resources more efficiently and market directly to people who are interested in your product or service is through a sales alliance.
A lot of the time, extroverts are writing networking tips for fellow extroverts. But what is the other half of the population supposed to do? With the right approach and strategy, introverts can take advantage of networking opportunities, too.
When you first start out as an entrepreneur, you have no brand. But while your business doesn’t have an established brand identity, there are other organizations that do. Align yourself with those organizations and you can use their preexisting brand identity to develop your own reputation.
We all need partners—but we don’t all know what it takes to create a lasting partnership. The key is building relationships. When you build a powerful partnership based on a relationship, you will look for ways to make it win-win for all partners—otherwise, it will never last!