Networking can be great or it can totally suck.

I think everyone’s viewed it through both lenses before. Almost all of us business owners have attended formal networking events where the only thing you were thinking was, “what the hell am I doing here”. The other times, we’ve left events where we were excited at the possibilities of new leads and potential business partnerships. It can be hit or miss.

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Comments


Written by tiroberts
506 days ago

Great post, Gary.

I believe that networking is an important activity to do whether you're building a business online or offline. But, you need to make sure that you efforts are actually proving to be fruitful and beneficial to you and your business. There's no sense in wasting valuable time so be sure your networking is as effective as possible. Thanks for sharing this post and your insights with our BizSugar community. I appreciate it.

Ti



Written by GaryShouldis
506 days ago

Thanks for the comments Ti! You're right, as a business owner you need to be selfish when it comes to your time, as you only have a finite amount of it. From a time perspective, networking is alot like social media, if you're not careful it can take up a huge portion of your time, so you need to use it wisely. Cheers!



Written by aood1w150
507 days ago

good..



Written by HeatherStone
507 days ago

Gary,

I think a lot of people are probably cringing when reading this, recognizing themselves in at least a few of the points. It seems like networking has been stressed a lot lately because at one time business people took so little interest in it, preferring to plunge right into business. These days, people are more sales resistant than ever leading to greater need for relationship building as part of the process. But, of course, it's easy to go too far the other way and never ask for that sale.



Written by ShawnHessinger
507 days ago

Gary

This goes to your second to last point and what I see as a lot of the real problem with social networking. If your network consists only of your peers, people who do what you do, not people who might buy from you, then how can it help your business? This isn't just a problem with networking but with marketing and sales too. If you are a social marketer and every member of your network is a social marketer, then you're all after the same customers. Who would buy your services, and, more importantly, who would refer your work when the rest of your network will be pursuing the same clients themselves?



Written by GaryShouldis
507 days ago

Thanks Heather! The best kind of business you can get is referral business, 90% of the sales process has taken place before they ever contact you. While networking is a must for any business, and can be a great lead generator, one thing that I often see new business owners do is to group together with other new business owners and "band" together to build their businesses.

While this is great, sometimes a new business owner will lose sight that they're not actually proactively trying to find new business, which is vital for a new business to survive, especially when you have overhead to meet.



Written by lyceum
508 days ago

As a certified networker (by ReferensAkademin in Sweden - Referral Institute in USA) and social media evangelist, I say that you should do a combo of both online conversational marketing and offline referral marketing. It is an fascinating topic and I bet we could talk a long time about it at the next business mixer! ;)

I look forward to meet you Teepy and Gary! :)

All the Best,

Martin



Written by GaryShouldis
507 days ago

It's definitely an interesting topic. I like how you use the term "conversational marketing", that's exactly what it is. While it can be highly effective, it does take time to generate business from as it's an indirect form of marketing.



Written by tcamba
509 days ago

That was a good info , Didn't know networking was the offline version of social media. What if I harness both offline and online?



Written by GaryShouldis
509 days ago

It's a;ways good to use a mix of online and offline marketing.



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