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Send them invitations to your events or open houses. Send them email or letters to share big news or success stories, especially anything of relevance to them or those in their networks of contacts. If you believe that you have valuable ideas, information and resources to share with others, then doesn’t this just make sense?
5. Work at GIVING referrals and sharing valuable information. That’s right, you need to be willing to GIVE before you get. That means you need to get to know other members and what makes a good prospect for them. What kinds of information might you have access to that could be useful to them?
You may initially think you don’t have much of value to share with others (besides your business and what you provide). Part of key to getting good at giving is to not make assumptions. For example, don’t assume that some basic resource (e.g., a web site) that you’re aware of is familiar to someone you might be talking to just because they are “expert” in that field. Be willing to ask if they know about resource and ready to share if they don’t.
Want to get better at actually giving referrals? Here’s a simple question to ask someone you’re connecting with. “How am I going to know when I meet a really good prospect for you?”
Just fact that you are willing to explore giving will elevate your know, like and trust factor.
6. Focus on Quality, not Quantity, Quantity, Quantity. It’s not necessarily about number of connections you make, but about quality of ones you do make. Are they mutually beneficial, win-win relationships?
Quality connections will be identifiable because all involved parties will be actively sharing ideas, information, and resources. Yes, it is true that you need to spend some time and effort getting to know other person(s) and what’s important to them. But, you also need to be clear and actively thinking about what information or resources you want and need.
Staying in touch with and following up with a smaller number of quality relationships will generally be much more productive than trying to follow up with a larger number of superficial contacts.
7. Be persistent, but be patient. The goal of a networking event shouldn’t necessarily be to come away with prospects every time you go out, but to come away with great connections. Networking usually takes time to get relationships developed and nurtured.
Don’t approach networking as a scary proposition or a necessary evil for being in business. Take pressure off yourself and really focus on how you might be able to connect with someone you meet. Focus on them first and look for ways to be useful to them. As you become known as a connector you’ll eventually be ready to reap what you sow.
(c) - Kevin Dervin, KPD Marketing
Kevin Dervin is focused on helping businesses that are ready to grow, but struggle with how to consistently attract more clients. Visit http://www.proven-small-business-marketing-solutions.com for more great marketing information you can use in growing your business today. KPD Marketing http://www.abcdgrowth.com.