Personal, business and family demands make some individuals resigned to the belief that networking will not be an easy task. However, such thinking is flawed - most people meet someone new on an almost daily basis without their regular schedules being interrupted.
In addition, restricting one's circle of friends and contacts, particularly for network marketers, significantly lowers the likelihood of success. On average, an individual is expected to know 250 people. Integrating the multiplier effect, this means a potential 62,500 contacts that offer much opportunities in terms of finding new clients, a new investment vehicle or major deals.
One way of building such a network is to greet a new acquaintance with the desire to know the person more, maintain contact and express willingness to assist if needed.
This approach helps whether the meeting is personal or online. However, a personal meeting is arguably more beneficial, as it helps one hone communication skills, especially in terms of starting and maintaining friendly conversation - a factor that would help one be remembered as someone nice and facilitate future business or casual meetings or any referral.
An individual involved with network or multi-level marketing would also benefit from having an adequate number of business cards on hand. For those keen on networking mainly from home or the office, or when they are free during weekends, a business networking community over the internet may be more ideal. These online groups often offer sub-networks focused on subjects matching one's interests.
This online link also allows one to view thousands of individual profiles and to prioritize arrangements with community members accordingly. Such a network can easily grow exponentially without affecting one's first or original circle of contacts, without much effort and practically at a minimum fee or free of charge.
When one is decided on business networking, he should avoid the normal tendency to do so in pursuit of personal gains. An individual should see the network as one that helps deliver gains for all members, at the convenience of all participants.
In addition, marketers should focus more on quality than quantity: a network of only 10 members who are committed to helping each other is more effective than a network with a thousand participants whose interests are not necessarily mutual.
Although some members may not be active on a regular basis, they should not be dropped just because of the inactivity. Some contacts who may not be helping as much as others still need to be respected - this is essential in building long-term relationships.
An effective networker attending a function should concentrate on establishing contact with a limited number of people at the event - focus should be on setting up a win/win situation where rapport with new acquaintances is developed.
This approach will allow both sides to meet again and find ways to mutually help each other. During this follow-up, listening to the other side is a must.
With the appropriate level of reciprocation, such a meeting will be followed by an exchange of referrals. A marketer should always express gratitude even for a single referral and attempt to work on the referral as soon as possible.
One way of building a network of referrals is by using 'feel-good', non-intrusive questions aimed at making another person feel comfortable. These questions are effective if they help build trust and confidence and promote the other's self-value.
Such questions include 'How did you begin your baked products business?', which encourage one's natural desire to relate his own story; or 'What activity do you enjoy doing the most?', which makes the other person feel important and remember the conversation as a positive one.
Ideally, an individual should first ask how he can help find referrals for the other person. This strategy would make the new prospect feel that his business will receive a boost from maintaining the relationship. The prospect would also feel that the individual is not a typical sales person keen on seeking opportunities to promote and sell his own product or service, making him more than happy and open to later reciprocate the assistance.
Practiced and observed with regularity, this positive and friendly but persuasive approach will help one grow a network of potentially endless referrals.
Daegan Smith is an Expert Internet Network Marketer. "Learn How To
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