How important is networking for your business?
Is it a must for all businesses? What if you're not good at networking?
It's vital, but if you look at it it's marketing, whatever way you can connect with your target market, do it or risk losing business. So it's not so much about it's importance but about doing it right.
- Be of value. Know how to communicate that value.
- Respect the persons wants and needs, they may take a while to realise they want and or need you, so being pushy to get connected can backfire badly.
- Be likeable.
- Be professional and courteous at all times.
- If you promise to send info, do it.
The founder of modern day marketing once said 50% of my advertising dollar is wasted. But do not ask me which 50% that is.
Networking is like brand advertising. You never know when a chance meeting with a person will result in a work.
Networking is important. You just never know when or if results will eventuate. I lecture. Years after meeting someone at a lecture, they contact me to give me work. I had no idea that the work would come at the time but years later it is there.
Other times I was at a function. A person was told I did IP law. Five to ten minutes later I was invited to speak at a conference in St Petersburg on Australian Trade Mark matters.
Being willing to get involved. Be generous with your knowledge and it will one day in the most surprising ways result in work coming your way.
Networking is critical. I choose to use digital networking and lots of blogging.
It has got us 80% of our business over the years and there is nothing better than meeting people, professing what you can deliver, then delivering on those promises.
It has value when done well. In other words it should be a two way street. Too often I come across people at 'networking events' who are keen to tell you about their business and ideas etc although not interested in what you may have. Mutually beneficil networks are best - and I agree with others here that digital networks are good.
As a marriage celebrant in Sydney networking is extremely important. Whether it is for a specific issue we might need clarification about, in case we need someone to step in if we can't officiate a ceremony or just discuss with other colleagues on different issues.
But more so for benefiting our couples/clients by introducing them to reliable suppliers in the wedding industry. Suppliers we've been working with in the past such as florists, photographers etc and find them reliable and professionals in their industries.