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Power Networking



 Power Networking

 Andy Ebon

Andy EbomAs a 10-year member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, I can safely say that I refined my networking skills through my Chamber involvement. Over time, I've observed and experiences some great successes. Unfortunately, I've also observed some colossal failures and unrealistic expectations.  The word, 'networking', has given way, in many quarters, to the phrase, 'realtionship marketing.' In fact, Relationship Marketing implies, correctly, a longer term activity than Networking. Often, people join a trade association, come to a meeting or mixer and expect to find a million-dollar lead waiting, on a silver platter.  Here are some sure-fire ways to make certain it does work.

  1. Previous relationships don't end just because you have arrived! - Recognize, that many people, such as myself, have been members of the association for years. As such, we have already built one or more relationships with someone in your field. Don't be put off by it. Move on to the next person who does not have a preexisting relationship.

  2. Nobody owes you referrals just because you joined an organization. - Leave the chip off your shoulder. Referrals are earned.

  3. Build relationships and the business will follow. - The saying goes, 'people do business with people, not companies.' I believe, to a large degree, this is true. Learn as much about people as their companies. Build the relationship

  4. Do not be overly aggressive at mixers and meal functions. - These functions are part social/part business. Don't be a party crasher.

  5. Show up - make it a priority. - Being memorable starts with repetition. Just like in advertising, repetition builds reputation. Long time members are looking for your commitment. or whether you're just passing through.

  6. Volunteer for committees and visible board positions. - Leaders and other volunteers do more work, the also get more visibility. In turn, they always develop more business relationships.

  7. There are times to say yes, and times to say no when asked for a donation of services, or your time. - Pick your spots. See where your involvement will be the most interesting for you and also shows the potential for meeting your business goals.

  8. Do not spend the whole event with people you already know. - The longer you're involved, the more this becomes a challenge. Arrange to meet with your pals, before or after. Remember why you are at an event.

  9. Give qualified referrals to others. - There is nothing better than developing visibility by example. Those that give the best leads to others usually receive the best leads, in return.

  10. Remember, bad news travels fast - Being unreliable, showing up late, being slow on follow up, coming on too strong...are all traits that will develop a reputation for you, quickly... and none of it will be flattering.

Recommended Reading:

How to work a room - Susan Roane - Warner Books The Secrets of Savvy Networking - Susan Roane - Warner Books What do I say next? - Susan Roane - Warner Books Endless Referrals - Bob Burg - McGraw Hill Getting Business to Come to You - Paul and Sarah Edwards Work at being a good volunteer, stay involved, build relationships and the sales success will follow. It¹s really that simple.

Andy Ebon 

EBS Virtual Communications


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