Building your business through networking can be a tricky thing. Attending events can be time consuming, following up can fall through the cracks and no one wants to get sold to when meeting others for the first time.
However, when done properly, your network could be one of your best referral sources. Nothing beats a third party referral and word-of-mouth advertising.
But simply attending events and handing out your business card to people is not the way to build a network.
Below, you will find my top 5 recommendations for business networking and creating mutually beneficial relationships:
#1: There is a big difference between promoting and networking.
Going to an event to hand out business cards and talk about your business is called promoting.
Going to an event to meet interesting individuals that you can form an alliance with, is called networking.
The easiest way to know that you found someone you can work with is to ask yourself if you like this person.
You are only going to do business with someone you know, like and trust…so if you are not clicking with someone…it’s OK. Just move on.
There are plenty of people out there that you’ll be able to click with and build a successful relationship.
#2: No one cares about your business until they care about YOU.
No one is going to do business with your business card and no one is going to pick you over your competitor until you give them a reason to.
A great way to get people on your side is to show them that you are valuable.
Give them introductions…help them with a project…offer them something that will create value.
When people see that you are willing to go the extra mile for their business and friendship, they will respond and reciprocate the favors.
Once you, as the business owner, can grasp this concept your network will flourish!
#3: All events are not made equal.
The best way to know which event is going to be the best for you is to go out and try them out.
Unfortunately, there is no magic 8-ball that will tell you if you’re going to meet someone at event X or event Y.
Morning events typically have a different format than evening events and will generally attract a different type of attendees.
Try events with various formats during different times of the day and see which one matches your personality the best.
That’s where you are going to make the most connections.
Another great tip is to do some research on the leader of the group/event. If you resonate with this person(s), you will resonate with the attendees. If you don't resonate with the leader, chances are that you won't resonate with the group.
#4: Arrive early and stay late.
Once you find the events that you’d like to try out, make sure to arrive early so that you can meet the organizers.
This will also allow you to meet other attendees as they come in.
It’s much easier to strike up conversations when you’re not the one having to approach people to break the ice.
Staying late is also great because by the end of the event, people let their guards down and they are ready to have real conversations as opposed to “sell sell sell.”
#5 Keep it real.
Unless you are being authentic and getting to know people on a personal level, your network will stay at a superficial level.
When you can find commonality with someone – i.e. you both went to the same school, used to live in the same city, have another friend in common – you are much more likely to truly connect with that person.
Once you have a personal connection, you can meet for coffee or lunch and continue to building a mutually beneficial relationship.
And this goes without saying, but FOLLOW UP is key.
If you do all the work and fail to follow up or follow through…nothing will ever happened and everything will be a complete waste of time.
Hopefully, these key concepts will be beneficial on your networking journey and allow you to build a vast network that will allow your business to thrive!
Socializing and networking with client, Helen Jordan, at Oscar De Las Salas' birthday party that required a stylish dress-code.
Helen and I have been working together for about a month and a half ... and in that time have absolutely killed it with connections.
Recently, I was invited to a friend's birthday party ... which I knew would be a perfect setting for Helen to meet great people, so she was my +1.
Even I was surprised at how many connections we've been able to make for her in such a short amount of time. Helen understands the power of introductions and people absolutely adore her, which makes it easy to keep introducing her :)
Check out her profile and reach out to her for your travel needs!
Company Name: Jordan Luxury Travel
Tell us your WHY: My goal is to fan the flame for travel within my clients. Travel is a burning
desire in my heart and my mission is to create dream getaways that are unique. I suggest new
and different experiences with hassle-free planning. I collaborate with my clients so I can truly
understand their most important travel wants and needs.
Who is your ideal client? My ideal client is female, 40+, and affluent. She can be in either the
professional world, a business owner, or a woman who is active in her community. She has it
all, yet, she wants more in life.
What’s something unique/interesting about you that I couldn’t find out by googling you? I’m still
looking for Prince Charming and I am a gun owner. Oh, and regardless of how many trips I’ve
taken, packing is never a quick and easy process. I have difficulty narrowing down my outfits –
because you never know everything you’ll end up doing on a trip and what you may need.
Tell us about one of your best client experiences. This was during a trip for two ladies who are
sorority sisters from college. One of the ladies is a true baseball fan, so I made sure they went
to a ball game while traveling in Japan. The absolute joy of watching the fun they were having
in their video of the fan fervor in the “super fan” section at the Yomiuri “Tokyo” Giants game was
What is your favorite place to travel to? I don’t have a favorite – there are so many wonderful
places that I don’t have enough time left on earth to experience the same thing over and over. I
love to visit new destinations (those that are new to me)!
Who are you currently trying to get connected to? I would really like to connect with women of a
certain age that are successful and comfortable in life, and for whom travel is an important
aspect of their life. They have what they need, enjoy and want – and, yet they yearn for more.
They want memorable, unique travel experiences to places that are currently on their bucket list.
More importantly, they want to visit places that are trending and that they haven’t even
considered in the past.
Why should people hire you? With me, they will see the world in a way that they can’t with
anyone else. I collaborate with them to create “once in a lifetime” trips that provide experiences
and memories that last a lifetime. You can’t google what I can provide.
How can people reach you? email@example.com, 602-692-9379, and my website:
It's been a long time coming ...
But before I ever launch or create anything ... I spin on it for days, weeks ... sometimes months. The "spinning" is a brainstorming process that I go through in my head in order to come up with something that's meaningful.
I still remember when I came up with the game-changing Networking Passport idea. My technical co-founder, at the time, didn't quite get the vision, but he said something along the lines ... "well, everything else you've come up with so far has been successful, so let's build this out."
The Networking Passport became the recurring revenue model of NetworkingPhoenix.com all while adding tremendous value to the members of my community. Win-win!
For years now, my community has been asking me to create more of a private high-end type of a group setting so they could meet with their peers to exchange ideas, connections and possibly business deals. Basically, an intimate platform that would allow them to meet the right people as well as allow me to facilitate personal introductions.
After being a professional networker for 12 years ... I've definitely built up quite the "rolodex" - for a lack of a better term.
Finally, after all this time ... and spinning on it for weeks, I came up with Gelie's Inner Circle ...
... and it gives exactly what the people want. Connections.
Connections are powerful.
Connections in business, as in life, make the magic happen ...
Connections create shortcuts and without them, business is hard and a very lonely place.
One connection, in an instant, can change not just your life ... but the course of history.
Imagine if Jobs had never met Wozniak, if Ben had never met Jerry or if Ray Croc had never met the McDonald brothers ...
If you understand the power of warm introductions and would like access to my personal contacts as well as be in an intimate room with successful peers that can offer connections, advice and support ...
... you might want to check out the Inner Circle.
While my vision for this group is not limited, the spaces definitely are. Truly, there are only so many introductions I can facilitate at a time.
But if you understand the value of that one introduction ... the value of that one connection ... then you definitely understand the value of this intimate program.
>>> Full details can be found here
And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out through the "contact" link.
I want to give a shout out to all my MLM friends who are out there hustling and trying to build a legitimate business.
More and more, I see FB posts from my childhood friends, personal friends and basically not those that I know from my "networking world" that are trying to build an MLM business.
Seriously, you all rock! Congrats on taking a leap of faith and trying to build a better future for yourself!
I'm so proud of you!
Good for you for talking about it on FB. Good for you for trying to get me to sample your products (although I probably won't b/c I never remember to sample anything). Good for you for adding me to your group and keeping me in the loop.
You may get flack from others about this, but never from me. I know how hard you're working for your future and I will always support you.
I know the game you have just stepped into and it's not an easy one. You're going to need all the encouragement you can get, and if you ever end up in a dark moment, know that I'm just one text away.
One tip I can give you is to create your big vision and keep that that vision mentally handy when things get rough. You'll need it.
It's not an easy road, but congratulations on trying to take the destiny of your financial future into your own hands.
Before launching NetworkingPhoenix, I was involved in Arbonne. It was truly one of the best things I ever did for myself. It started out as a hobby, but within 3 days, I was in love with the business aspect of it and I took off running.
The first 3 months were amazing, I was on a high and killed all my numbers. However, as you probably know, in order to be successful with an MLM company, you have to build a down-line.
But you know what I hate? Babysitting adults. I just couldn't do it ... but that's just ME. If you can build a donwline, you're going to win.
But here is the kicker ... even if you don't end up building a downline, you're still going to win. Your eyes will be open to new opportunities, you'll have made new friends and event if you make just an extra $500/mo - that's still amazing!
Arbonne didn't work out for me, but from that experience, the concept for NetworkingPhoenix was born. I wanted to have my own network and be the Queen Bee at the top.
So all those nay-sayers that you might encounter, all those people that un-follow you on FB or shut you down ...
... they just suck. Move on.
You're doing something good for yourself, your family and your future.
There will be moments you'll want to quit. Don't. But if for some reason you do end up leaving, remember, when I left Arbonne, NetworkingPhoenix was born.
You're only one good idea away from your dream!
And a quick note to those that have never tried a network marketing business ... add that to your to-do list. Joining a network marketing business that you believe in (there are so many great ones to choose from!), will help you grow personally, professionally and allow you to further develop your character.
Big shout out to the network marketing peeps!
Yes, I'm talking to you!
I'm talking to the person that walks around the networking event asking everyone their name what they do for a living.
The answer to both of those questions is ... who cares?
When you ask me those questions, it's really just a generically boring ice-breaker ... all you're trying to do is get a conversation going so that you can tell me what you do for a living and hopefully I'll buy from you. As soon as I've told you my name, you already forgot it and when I tell you what I do for a living, you're just sizing up my answer to see if I would be a good fit for whatever you're peddling. Sound familiar? I thought so ...
And that, my friends, is why networking gets a bad rap.
In the scenario that I described above, there is not much room for a true connection point. It doesn't mean that it won't happen, but you're limiting the opportunity from the get-go.
True networking happens when you're able to establish a personal connection with a complete stranger.
I know ... it's much easier said than done, but there is a bit of a formula to it.
First and foremost, stop being boring. Stop asking what people do for a living and focus on what really matters ...
... their story.
Who is this stranger standing in front of you? How did they end up in the same room at the same time as you? What are their interests, passions and hobbies and what is their "why?"
These are the things that truly matter.
So the question I would encourage you to lead with is "what's your story?"
Most of the time, they will look at you with a bit of a confusion and proceed to tell you what they do. After all, they probably didn't read this blog and don't understand what's happening. They have been trained to only talk shop at a networking event ...
... help them get out of that boring box!
After listening to what they do, politely say, "that's great ... but I asked what your story is ... where are you from, how did you end up at this event ... what are you interested in?"
This interaction right here, is what true networking is about. You're making friends. You're getting to know strangers on a personal level. You're actually making a connection that can turn into a mutually beneficial relationship.
People love talking about themselves and this is a great ice-breaker to let them do just that ...
You become more interesting to people when you seem interested in them. Show that you are genuinely interested in who they are as a person as opposed to just what they do for a living. That conversation will happen naturally after the initial connection, so there is no reason to lead with it.
I'll leave you with this famous quote that I'm sure you've heard, but can always hear again as a refresher ...
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
When we think of networking, we don't typically think of numbers ...
... but when it comes to networking and relationship building, 7 is the magic number!
The rule of 7 is one of the oldest concepts in marketing and basically says that the potential buyer needs to hear or see a brand's marketing message at least 7 times before they are ready to buy.
The same concept applies to networking ...
When you meet someone, they need to have 7 interactions with you before you actually register on their radar as someone they "know." You might meet someone and have incredible chemistry just from one event ... but that still doesn't mean your new friend is ready to buy from you.
Nowadays, it's very easy to achieve 7 interactions ... here are some examples:
1) You meet at the event
2) You follow up with an email
3) You connect on LinkedIn
4) You interact with a LinkedIn post that your new contact posted
5) You send your new contact an email with relevant information to their industry (or something you think he/she would find interesting)
6) If you're an active networker, maybe you see them at another event
7) You have a phone conversation or event meet up for coffee
In a nutshell, if you're trying to get on someone's radar, make it a point to have 7 interactions with them as a way to start building a solid relationship!