Into every life some rain must fall and accordingly into every successful business arena some networking must occur. I can hear some of you out there already saying, "My business is doing great and I don't Network"!
Whether you realize it or not, you probably network almost every day of your life to one extent or other. It could be handing out your business card, mentioning your company or web site, or just talking about your work in passing to friends or associates.
Some of us are a bit more proactive about networking and I'm sure every owner has his or her own plan and procedures that they follow. This is good. Consistency in almost everything is admirable, but in networking it is crucial.
For those of you breaking into business and still trying to get a hold on everything, here are a few steps to think about and maybe, just maybe help you down "networking road of life".
Make a List.
This list should be of every person who would have a good opinion of your product or service. Include anyone you have ever done business with that could be "potential customers". Friends, your family's friends, groups, organizations and yes even your relatives. This is what you would call your "A" List.
Now, you will also want to recruit new potential clients to your network. There are many ways to gather new potential clients depending on many circumstances, such as your business, budget, media availability, time investment and so much more. You will always need to be creative and hardworking when it comes to getting new names in your network list. This first-timer's list will be your "B" list.
What to Send?
You must then decide what information you want to give them and what you want from them. Be sure that you give them some information about your company (background), product (how it will benefit them), promotion or offer (main reason for your contact) and don't forget most important; let them know what to do to repsond to your contact.
A "qualified prospect" has already opened door for probable sales. This prospect "SHOULD NOT" be included in your normal network (A & B Lists). You can afford to; and I might add, they deserve to be contacted in a more personal manner.
How Ya Doin?
Don't waste your time, money and network resources sending out messages to your network, saying nothing more than basic, "We're Here, We're Open, We in Business, Here's our Number". Save your network contacts for special events. Special Offers, Workshops, Discount Coupons, Etc.