Interesting article by another of my favorite authors, Ivan Misner is the founder of BNI.
Business networking is leveraging your business and personal connections to bring you a regular supply of new business. The concept sounds simple, doesn’t it? Don’t let that fool you, though. Because it involves relationship building, it can be a deceptively complex process.
Think about it. How many people do you know? How many of these people truly understand what you do? How many of these folks have directed prospects to you as referrals? And how many of those referrals have actually turned into business?
Business networking is much more than showing up at networking functions, shaking a
lot of hands and collecting a bunch of cards.
This really resonated with me, I have been to countless network functions, handing out cards like a machine. I stopped doing that a while ago and focused on building relationships, finding out what services others had to offer and how I could integrate their services into my own. This is where Social Media came into play, I have a large network of local businesses on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. I also created a website for local trades to list their services on, and instead of handing out my business card, I hand out a card for this site and ask “How can I help you?”.
Another contractor I know, Steve Burnett, goes to local businesses and interviews them and posts the videos! I am hoping he will be sharing more of that in an upcoming post.
What other ways can you reach out and connect with other businesses?