We all know how important networking is for building a successful business. Skillful networking is the first step in building those all-important business relationships.
There are many myths and fairytales believed by many business owners about what networking is intended to accomplish. Let’s bust through one of the biggest myths.
Networking Myth: Networking is Time Consuming.
I hear this frequently as I interact with my clients and potential clients. I agree! The activities surrounding networking can certainly be time consuming when it’s done the way some business owners do it – but it doesn’t have to be.
If there happened to be a “who can attend the most networking events in a given week contest”, I definitely would not win.
But I would often win the most strategic networking contest.
It isn’t about the quantity of networking; it’s about the quality. If you take care to plan your business marketing and customer flow, then you will approach networking activities very differently.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the business owner who shows up at the most networking events wins. Good networking requires strategic thinking and planning about your target market. Identifying your target market requires asking the question, “Who is your ideal customer?” And the answer isn’t, “Everyone with a wallet!”
When there is no definition of a target market and no marketing plan, then it is true that networking takes up lots of time. And, it’s time that doesn’t focus on the real purpose of networking, which is building relationships. When I observe business owners showing up every week at as many networking breakfasts and lunches as they can fit into their schedules, I know that their networking isn’t working – and I can prove it!
Of course, if networking is just a social activity, then it is working… but I guarantee it isn’t generating the kind of relationships that focused networking should. If you prefer to exhaust yourself doing this sort of business building, be my guest. But, if you want to experience a great return on your investment of money, time and energy, then take the time to plan your networking activities so they pay off.
If you want help to identify your real target market, arrange for a discovery session. We’ll spend 15 minutes in which I’ll ask you several questions to help you with this important marketing activity. I guarantee there will be no sales pitch – just an offer of assistance in this important step for making your networking work.