Allegedly, there are only six people between you and every person in the world. You want to change your job, are looking for new orders, or maybe you’d like to talk to experienced owners of thriving companies? Expand your network of contacts. How? The answer is: networking.
Does networking work?
It’s like asking your friend whether they went to the hairdresser that you recommended. They probably did. That’s how networking works. You recommend products, services and specialists to other people from your industry. If your suggestions suit the needs of your interlocutors – there is a good chance they will use them.
Recommendations work great both in the personal and professional setting. After all, it’s simpler and faster to start cooperation with a recommended person than to look for a good employee by more traditional methods.
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What is BNI?
BNI, the Business Network International, is the most widely known networking organization. It is based on providing mutual recommendations for contacts within an industry. Its activities include, among other things, hosting business breakfasts. During such meetings, each person shortly introduces themselves, talks about their company, its offer and who they are looking for.
What can I learn?
Networking meetings are often attended by experience people who have been in the business for several years. Nothing should prevent you from just approaching and talking to them. Ask away and listen carefully. Experience of the entrepreneurs will help you understand the laws that govern business and perhaps even give some new ideas for developing your own? Seize the opportunity!
Is occasional attendance good enough?
Networking meetings have a specific atmosphere. It’s not for everyone. This is a place for confident people who easily make contacts and have the ability to win peoples’ hearts. If you decide to do networking, remember that it’s not enough to do it occasionally. It takes time to build and nourish relationships. It requires time and devotion.
– There are a number of principles to keep in mind during networking events. First impressions are the most important part, so you should not start with selling services and distributing your business cards. These meetings are a mutual exchange and you should not expect immediate profit. What’s important is patience and the ability to build long-term, quality relationships – says Rafał Wilk, COO Solutions.Rent.
Is networking a cult?
Networking is far from that, but it certainly looks a bit like a mutual admiration society. The first impression may surprise you, but you should not get scared away. Attending conferences, trainings and workshops will make others recognize you, and this is already the first step towards good business relationships.
Can networking replace marketing?
Networking is certainly one of the cheapest ways of promoting yourself and your company. It is also effective – but can it replace marketing? You should remember that such meetings are attended by a specific group of people from a certain business. If your product or service is targeted to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, do not neglect your standard promotional activities. The rule is simple: be where your customers are.
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Does networking pay off?
Business contacts are important. They make business easier and often accumulate profits. Recommendations allow you to win new clients and participate in new projects. Networking does pay off. Therefore you should attend business events and conferences and extent your online contacts network as well. Select your interlocutors carefully and cultivate the contacts you make. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
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