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Business Networking 101 - Networking Tips & more...

  By Cesar Plata, Founder everyCircle.com, Rev. 09/03/12

Since 1998, we have organized hundreds of events (1-4 events per month): monthly business networking mixers, dinner socials, and the very well-attended Silicon Valley Business Expos. We are sharing some lessons learned so you may be more effective and successful at connecting with your next clients and friends.

We cordially invite you to attend our upcoming SF Bay Area business networking expos and mixers.

Also read:
Video Interview - Cesar Plata, Founder everyCircle.com, 04/28/12, by The Larisa Group
Blog about Networking 101 by J.S. Gilbert
How to Organize Effective & Successful Events, Business Networking Expo & Mixers


Pay It Forward - Invite Others - Be The Connector

pay it forward
A Simple and Powerful Paradigm: Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Your clients and friends are your best ambassadors. They can help you meet more people effectively and successfully than you can by yourself.

Leverage - Power of Third Party Referrals: Create your Power Team, introduce your clients to their NEXT clients, and promote each others' businesses!
Strangers will generally believe and trust a referral much more and sooner then they will believe you (human nature).

Our Mixer is Your Mixer: It is in your best interests to invite others to attend YOUR everyCircle mixer.
Please email others and give your business top billing:  Your Name and everyCircle.com cordially invite you...

Law of Attraction: Benefits are tremendous - It will pay you back tenfold!

    Learn More   Earn Money for Referrals


Networking for Fun and Profit
Let's face it, giving speeches in public, writing articles, or doing anything else out of one's comfort zone, including networking, is not easy, comfortable and/or fun for many people. Just like anything else, knowledge is power, and practice makes perfect. Once you learn, practice and eventually master a few basic techniques, you will realize networking can be fun and even very profitable!

There is a certain 'art and science' to networking. If you are a business owner or a salesperson, it is imperative to learn how to network effectively; your financial success may depend on it! You don't have to be a natural-born extrovert or even an expert in your field to be able to approach a stranger and make a connection!

We could learn much from children. Some children tend to be fearless; they simply do not know any better. They usually do not have any inhibitions or insecurities that prevent them from doing or saying things. As we get older, experiences, assumptions, and fears creep in and prevent us from accomplishing our goals.

Let's get back to the basics (clean slate) for a moment, and simply forget all you have learned or thought you knew about networking. Humans are social creatures by nature. Let's learn and practice how to socialize and network not only to grow our businesses, but to also become better humans!

Consider the following quotes:

  • Best business is personal business. Give and you shall receive.
  • Perception is reality. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  • The key to success is not what you know, or who you know, it's who knows you!
  • A little courtesy goes a long way. Golden Rule - Treat others like you would like to be treated.
  • Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled. Article
• People are still people, they put on their pants one leg at a time, just like the rest of us, regardless of their financial or social position.
• The main purpose of any business is to grow. If your business or organization is not growing, it it NOT a business, it is a hobby!

As long as you have internet, you can play slots and video poker from anywhere in the Bay Area at GamblingCity.net!


Networking Tips - A summary
- Networking is not an event, it is a process in which you never know which contact will take you to your goal.

  • Best business is personal business
  Exchange business cards, ask for and offer referrals.
  • Smile and think positively
  People like to do business with others they like and feel comfortable with.
  • Know your goal
  Be clear about what you want from each event and interaction.
  • Know your audience
  Adjust your approach in different environments.
  • Have a message strategy (elevator pitch)
  When connecting with others, determine their interests and establish a rapport before delivering your branding statement.
  • Be effective with your time and money
  Acknowledge your friends and devote more time to meeting new people.
  • Hold the sales pitch
  Use brief  'elevator pitches.' Do not make long-winded sales presentations.
  • Make it a team activity
  Invite others and they may help you maximize coverage at an event.
  • Get involved
  Sponsor the event and/or volunteer to help - you will gain more visibility and new clients!
  • Read other articles about networking, Click Here

Networking 101
Best Business is Personal Business
A Little Courtesy Goes A Long Way...

  • The Greeting ~ Hello! Welcome! How are you? Hope you are enjoying this event...
  • The Question ~ How may I help you? Who would you like to meet here?
                             NOT What do you do? Are you a member?
  • The Response ~ Keep it short, sweet, simple, and memorable... You had me at Hello ~ let's exchange business cards...
  • The ROI ~ Collaborate and Leverage and your Return On Investment will increase. Introduce yourself and your clients to others and help grow each other's networks!
  • The Benefit ~ A phone call sooner than later, and you may have a new friend, partner, and/or client!

The Key to Success is NOT what you know, it's NOT who you know, it's WHO KNOWS YOU!

Networking = Hospitality = Success
Please share this and pay it forward! 


Bottom line - Networking is simply the process of showing manners and common courtesy.

If you can approach a total stranger with a smile, and ask politely, 'How are you doing?', you will be half-ways to becoming a networking expert! Then you could show some more courtesy and genuine interest, and ask 'How may I help you?' Listen to the other person, then share with him or her who you are and what you do. Everything else is simply details! (continue reading to learn more)

Ran out or forgot your business card? Design your own and share them with others:

Quite simply, networking is key to growing your business.
Background:
Unlike so-called experts in networking who write books and present workshops, yet meet few people at a large networking event, I am a true expert in networking. Bragging aside, I currently send a weekly e-newsletter to over 15,500 business owners and professionals (rev 5/31/10), of whom most I have met personally. We also host bi-monthly business networking expos and mixers where hundreds of people congregate. Unlike many networking events hosted by organizations that draw the same 90-95% crowds, we draw 30-60% newcomers, always! Organizing networking events for us is relatively easy (we make a few phone calls and make things happen). Getting people to attend, especially strangers, is EXTREMELY difficult!

Please do not feel bad if you may have felt out of place, uncomfortable, or unsuccessful at a networking event you may have attended. I learned many years ago during my engineering days an important quote from manufacturing that is very applicable to many facets of life "Do not blame the people, blame the process". We have proven the way people are greeted at the door sets the tone, feng-shui, vibe, and ambiance, for ANY event, especially business networking mixers. The environment, to a large extent, will dictate how successful you may be at networking at a particular event. The rest is completely up to you!

Pay attention how you are greeted at the next event you attend. Were you welcomed courteously and warmly, or were you treated like cattle (sign here, pay there...)? When you host a private party at your home, are you a courteous host or do you treat people like strangers? Do you think people will tend to be more approachable when they are treated with respect and the ambiance is friendly and warm? It amazes me how people forget basic manners and courtesy at 'business' events. A little courtesy goes a long way, and this could result in larger attendances, more clients, and eventually larger profits! Following are some networking tips. Enjoy!

 

Best Business is Personal Business...
Just be yourself, unless you have an ugly personality... People like to do business with others they like and feel comfortable with. Regardless of how great your product or service is, if others don't like YOU, your chances of eventually making a sale are slim. Remember the Golden Rule - Treat others like you would like to be treated. Give and you shall receive. A little courtesy goes a long way...

 

Smile and think positively
Attitude is everything! At any type of event, especially networking mixers, wear a smile, think positive, and the Law of Attraction will work for you. A special networking tip - act as if you are hosting the event, even if you are not. When you meet someone, say 'Welcome, how are you doing?' Then follow up with 'How may I help you?' People will remember you as an approachable, helpful, and hospitable person. Let them speak, and then share with them, briefly, what you do and how you could possibly help them.

 

Know your goal
Be clear about what you want from each event and interaction. Some may suggest to set metrics (if that works for you) such as meeting a certain number of people and collecting so many business cards. I suggest just doing your best and you just may exceed your expectations, without the stress. Focus on quality, not quantity. You are much better connecting with one potential client than meeting many people who may never do business with you.

Most networking events may last two to four hours. Do the math - you might not have enough time to approach everyone, much less connect with them. Set a goal to be brief with your elevator pitch, and treat the event as you would treat your own business. You are there to make initial connections to help grow your business, NOT to make the sale! Acknowledge people you already know (you could always connect with them afterwards) and focus on meeting new people! You may not get a chance to meet that special person or potential client again.


Know your audience
Adjust your approach in different environments. Some event are more casual than others. Some events draw a different class or echelon of people. People will tend to act, dress, and speak differently in different situations. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Keep the language appropriate too (swearing and foul language, regardless of how comfortable you may be) is simply inappropriate. Follow your intuition - you would be surprised how often you will meet the 'right' persons when you 'open' yourself to meeting new people.

Remember - Perception is reality. You only have one chance to make a (good) first impression. Treat everyone with courtesy and respect, regardless of their social position. You never know who they may represent or who they may be connected with.

For example, often I have met people at events who only want to speak with C-level executives and will 'blow-off' a receptionist, who happens to be the gatekeeper for a powerful and influential CEO. NEVER upset the gatekeepers and the connectors!! Connectors are the true networkers, those who know everyone and everyone knows them. You would be surprised how few degrees of separation some of us are from the most influential and wealthy people in the world!

Different events draw different crowds such as: network marketers, entrepreneurs, salespeople, technical, industry-specific, management, investor / VC, C-level, political, philanthropic, etc. The solo entrepreneur or college kid you meet today could be the founder of a company like Facebook or Google tomorrow. Remember: Networking is not an event, it is a process in which you never know which contact will take you to your goal.

Obviously, you want to address and show a different type of respect to influential persons such as government officials and C-level executives. Their time is usually very limited and they tend to deal with big picture concepts and relationships, not details. They are very careful who they associate with and how they interact with others. They tend to have much more to lose. The typical sales pitch will most probably turn them off. Sometimes it may take years and lots of networking before they give you the time of day. Patience is a virtue, and it will pay off eventually, always!

Read More - Page 2

 
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