Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Business Networking Strategies

There's nothing like face to face in person business networking to grow your business.  Meeting a prospect at a networking event presents an opportunity to get to know people in a relaxed environment.

A question I'm frequently asked is "What's the best strategy when networking?"  To better understand networking, let's look at the different types of networking events:

Leads groups – one member per occupation
Trade membership organizations – architects, attorneys, home builders, women business owners
Special interest events – wine, art, movies
Business chambers – local business owners

My preference in order of effectiveness is the first three types of groups.  I like leads groups because you develop deeper business relationships and have a group of professionals to refer your own clients to. I like trade organizations because I always think it's better to be one business coach or one financial advisor in a trade organization rather than competing against many others in a general networking environment. I absolutely love special interest groups because I love wine and art and if belonging to one of these groups allows me to build my business while enjoying what I love to do, so much the better. My least favorite group is a business chamber. To be effective networking at this kind of group, you will need to be on a committee or heading up some sort of special sub group, otherwise you are just one of many who belong to a chamber.  

To find out what type of group works best for you, your best bet is to visit 3-5 different groups. Many cities have a business networking web site that lists events in a calendar format.

Here are a few resources to help you network more effectively
Feel more confident when networking: Four Ways to Be a Better Networker
Don't know what to say when networking? Maybe it's time to update or Write Your 30 Second Commercial?

Suzanne Muusers

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