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Do You Engage in Business Networking Groups?
How many networking groups have you joined? I am hopeful that the answer to this question is at least one. The goal of these groups is to leverage each other’s networking and provide leads for others. As you share leads, they will share leads with you. Often, a networking club meets once per week early in the morning or at lunchtime. If you are not taking advantage of these groups, you are losing money for your business.
Friends by from friends. People buy from those they like. If you want to make more sales, make more friends.
Networking groups are some of the best places to meet new friends, nurture those relationships and turn them into potential customers for your business. There are many different kinds of networking clubs all over the world. Find a club you like, join it and then get involved.
Local Networking Groups
Search the internet and you will find many options. Some of these include Biz Builders, LeTip International and Business Networking International. All of these clubs have small fees which keep the organization growing. When you obtain your first referral, you will earn this fee back ten fold.
When you’re part of a networking group your first goal should be to provide leads and the second goal should be to receive leads. In a sense, your are leveraging your network to offer leads, and, in return, the group is leveraging its network to give leads back. By all means, no one is losing in this scenario. Being a part of a networking club is truly win-win. This reminds me of what Frank Cane said:
“Use friendliness, but do not use your friends.”
Global Networking on the Internet
In recent years, the internet has exploded onto the scene. To drive home this point, I interviewed a good friend who is an entrepreneur, global networking guru and author. In her book Leveraging the Internet, Anne Alberg discusses the role that online business networking plays in today’s business world. This phenomenon is occurring both in the corporate world and for entrepreneurs locally as well as globally.
According to Anne, as globalization continues, people today cannot rely solely on the old school way of networking in person. With our busy schedules, people today may choose not to attend traditional networking events as they did in the past. Online business networking can provide a new way to meet people with whom you normally would not interact. Anne talks about the importance of getting involved in online network communities such as Fast Pitch Networking, LinkedIn and Direct Matches and numerous others.
While it may have been true years ago, some of these networks started as dating sites and a place to make new friends. Recently many have evolved into a major platform for business people to generate referrals, market their products and services, collaborate on projects as well as meet other like-minded professionals. There are now over 500 online business networking communities, and new communities are coming online daily.
Remember, not only are you connecting with new business professionals, you are getting potential exposure to their extended networks, which, in the online world, can be infinite. Relationships established online can last a lifetime and may even evolve into “in person” meetings. For example, visit Meetup.com. This is a community of like-minded individuals who share a common interest and meetup in their respective communities.
Ann is convinced that if you want to grow your business, both locally and globally, you must learn to leverage these online business networking resources. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, Anne is you online business networking guru. She and her resources can assist you in developing your presence on the web above and beyond the traditional website. Her book is a must-read, as it shows you how to use online business networking as a tool to grow your business.
**This is an excerpt from my book: “Creating Your Own Destiny”
As a Motivational Keynote Speaker, I can speak on this subject or adapt my subject to your audience.