Networking is a great activity to find new customers and grow your business. It's an inexpensive way to find new customers as well as build referrals from others. Every business should be doing it. I mean every business!
What is networking, really? It’s not just the chamber or specific meetings where everyone is talking about their business and handing out their business cards like candy on Halloween. With the common style of networking, the probability of your business card hitting the garbage bin is pretty high. Networking is really building relationships with potential customers and referral sources outside of your business location. Networking takes time to develop, but if you can add some common interests, it speeds it up.
Networking can take place anywhere, like doing activities that you already enjoy or do. Anywhere where you can introduce yourself and your business These ‘soft’ networking activities can really benefit your business. Here are some examples of great non-traditional networking opportunities.
1. Participation Activities
Sports that you or your kids participate in are great ways to build. Maybe you like to hike, bike, or run. Anytime you can do an activity with others is an opportunity to talk a little shop. I recently started playing golf again and find that when you spend time doing something you like with others, the topic of ‘what do you do’ always seems to come up.
2. Common Interests
You like certain teams. Say, you are a foodie or you drive a certain car or bike. There are organized clubs that do get-togethers where you can build relationships with people that you have common interests with. On the weekends, you probably have seen a group of similar cars parked showing off their cars or riding together. I ride a Harley and there are riding clubs
3. Philanthropic Interests
Many people feel drawn to certain charitable interests. There are thousands of organizations that need your help. Your help can be of your time helping the organization. This type of organization often has business owners and higher net worth individuals participating. Building out your list of connections in this area can do more than just help a cause.
Trade associations that your ideal customer may be involved in are another great place that you can network. These can be your own field of work or your ideal customers. Civic associations and churches are other types of associations that members build relationships with.
Networking is simply being around others that could be your customers or your referral partners while talking about what you do and who you do it for. I encourage you to get out, find some non-traditional networking opportunities, and build some relationships. Soon, you too will have more high-yielding business that will supplement your other marketing sources.
Marcia Riner is a business growth strategist and the CEO of Trajectory Consulting. She helps service firm owners to optimize their business, drive growth, and to be in a great position to sell it someday. Together, she helps you create your roadmap to improve, scale, and maximize the value of your company.
She runs a masterclass where she teaches business owners how to optimize and scale their business so that they can sell it someday @ www.Scale2Sell.biz
Want more great ideas, download Marcia’s newest eBook “Think Outside The Box – 10 Reasons To Get Your Business Sale-Ready Now” available on www.TrajectoryBiz.com