We believe that networking should be one strategy in your marketing plan, but there is a huge variance in opinion as to whether it works or not. Some business owners get over 50% of their business through their networks, others do lots of networking but don’t get much out of it, while others don’t do any networking because they don’t see the benefits or feel uncomfortable “selling themselves” in a group environment.
It may be that networking isn’t suitable for all types of business, particularly those that operate in a highly specialised, niche markets, but for most businesses that sell to other businesses or the public, it is a strategy worth considering.
To make sure your networking gets you results, you need to focus on the right kind of networking group, that is going to have people that are your target market. The you need to be clear what you want to achieve from networking and how you are going to achieve it.
Remember that networking is not sales – you are there to educate and communicate what you do to others who might be interested. This is the start of your sales process, not the end. You need to follow the “100% Sales Process” steps of Trust, Need, Help, Hurry and at a networking event, you may only get to step 1!
In his book “The Jelly Effect,” Andy Bounds gives his opinion that “the only goal of networking is to arrange coffee meetings with people that might be able to help you reach your personal and business goals.” If this is the case, then why would you not want to network? It may be that you’re not clear on what your goals actually are!
At ActionCOACH we are members of several external networking groups and if you’d like to attend any of them as our guest, then just contact us.
We also have our own networking groups with a difference – the difference being that they are focused on education. Our groups are: The BIG Mastermind Group, the BIG Dinner Club and the Paultons Golf and Business Association.
Please give us a call to find out about about each of them and see which would be better for you and your business.