When entrepreneurs shy away from attending networking events, they are leaving money on the table. Whoever tells you that attending business networking events aren’t effective doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Let’s face it – with business networking events, you can meet the ‘movers and shakers’ in business as well as decision makers. Does that mean you’re going to walk away with a deal? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that you have a connection with someone who is able to provide you with business along with other resources. Before you get it twisted, I need to say that effective business networking is relational.
Because so many people like to use the term ‘busy,’ it’s no surprise many entrepreneurs fail to get new clients. While it’s good having reoccurring clients, it’s equally important to gain new business. New business can lead to new opportunities. Never become too complacent and/or comfortable with where you are that you don’t network.
The value of gaining new business cannot be stressed enough. Don’t forgo the need to attend business networking events. Here are some things to consider:
Networking exposes you to people who don’t know you and/or business. So many people attend networking events for several reasons and your reason should be to connect with the right people who can help you. Without going out to meet people, you’re only hurting yourself.
Don’t listen to people who aren’t ‘master networkers.’ A master networker knows how to work the room and get in front of the right people. They just don’t collect business cards; they end up closing deals in the long run.
Understand that networking can be fun. Shifting your focus from serious to fun will cause you to loosen up. Remember, going to a business networking event isn’t about getting sales; it’s about building relationships. However, there will be times when you can close a deal on the spot, depending on what you’re offering.
As an entrepreneur, I love networking. It’s with networking that my business has been able to expand globally. The old adage, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ is prevalent in today’s business culture. Yes, you have to be skillful in what you offer, but when you stop to think about it for a moment, it’s so much easier getting business when you’ve taken the initiative to network.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, author of The ABC’s of Making Business Networking Work For You and success coach. Contact him at www.sinclairgrey.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey