By Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III
Isn’t it amazing that a whole lot entrepreneurs don’t know how to network properly? That’s right; they are nescient as to what to do and/or expect. For some reason, they simply assume that going to a networking event is about passing out business cards and sitting by the phone waiting for people to call them. Can we be honest for a moment and say that’s not going to happen?
Just stepping out to become an entrepreneur is a bold move. Going against the odds is challenging and for those who endure the ups and downs, they are able to enjoy the rewards. Not just financial freedom, but freedom to do what they love at their own pace.
Being an entrepreneur is more than selling products or providing services. It’s about building relationships. Let’s face it – without building relationships, it will be difficult to get your business off the ground floor. Simply saying you’re in business for yourself without taking the necessary steps in networking will cost you time and money.
Here are three things you need to take into consideration when you meet someone at a networking event or through a business social media site via LinkedIn.
- Follow Up Within 24 Hours. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ It simply means when someone hasn’t heard from you in a while, they will forget who are and what you do. As an entrepreneur, you have to show the initiative. Waiting for others to do so is not advisable
- Respond to messages. How many times has someone requested information from you and you simply ignored it? Guess what – a missed opportunity. On the other hand, how many times have you reached out to someone and they didn’t respond? Did it leave a bad taste in your mouth? Are you likely to refer that individual? Probably not
- Establish A Business Relationship/Friendship. It’s important to note that this isn’t your time to push your products and/or services. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been turned off by someone asking me to buy this or purchase that without even getting to know me. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Through a relationship, doors of opportunity will open up.
Networking doesn’t have to be intimidating, as look as you know what to do. In a real sense, it can be fun because you’re able to meet new people, establish new relationships, and help people reach their goals. Don’t let anyone talk you out of networking because it can be the most important thing you can do for your business.
Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III is a speaker, writer, author of The ABC’s of Making Business Networking Work For You and success coach. Contact him at www.sinclairgrey.org