Do you break out in a sweat, find your heart racing, feel nauseous and dread the idea of business networking at group events? Well, I guess we've figured out you're not an extrovert. So, promoting your business in front of an audience is not your thing. But, guess what? That's okay! You don't have to be a social animal to build a successful business referral network. Here are some tips that can help you adapt business networking to your less "in the spotlight" personality:
Don't worry about large social business settings. You can build an excellent buisness network by quietly helping to solve problems and as a result, make lasting business contacts. For example:
- As you come across prospects for a business with whom you would like to network, make the referral and send that business (owner or salesperson) an email or note letting them know you gave them a referral and who you referred.
- You probably cringe at the idea of business networking groups and their breakfast meetings, but do you participate in any social activities? You can still network in socialsituations and use those activities to build your business referral network! Maybe you participate in a local recreational activity (poker game with friends; qulting), local organization or cause (church; non-profit fund drive; American Cancer Society), hobby (fishing; boating), or sport (tennis; cycing). It could be almost anything that you do or attend regularly. These are all opportunities to develop friendships with people who have a common passion or interest similar to yours, help each other on a social level and eventually develop some networking opportunities. I'm absolutely positive that at least some of these people you meet will own a business or be in sales and could use referrals. This is an example of "doing what you love" and using that passion to build valuable networking relationships. There are connections that can eventually help you get more referrals and grow your business. An important thing to remember in these situations is to have fun first, make friends, and enjoy the social activity. Use natural opportunities to seek out referrals (both giving and getting)… and don't force any situation. Building your business this way is often slow, but can also yield very good results over time.
- Join ReferralSmart™ and build your own personal business referral network easily, quickly and effectively. It is free to sign up. You can search for other local business people that also want to network and grow their business… just like you. View their complete profile (type of business, location, website, types of referrals they are looking for, and much more) online before you connect with them. Getting in touch with them is simple… you can then send a semi-customized email invitation through our system to introduce yourself. It's a non-aggressive, "soft" way to find members who might like to be part of your personal business referral network. No matter what type of personality you have, our system is designed to help you network better, faster andmore effectively.
Business networking doesn't have to be about weekly group business meetings, presentations or putting yourself in very uncomfortable public situations. Great business networking is simply about helping people solve problems. By referring someone to a good business you are helping them solve an issue. By providing a referral to a good business that you know, you are helping them solve the problem of getting new customers. When you solve problems, people remember you… and with often try to help you in return. Business networking, especially when it involves the passing of a referral, is about trust. Trust is built over time. So, don't worry about getting thrown into a random group of people at a local networking group. Seek out specific buisnesses that you trust, network within social activities that you enjoy and join ReferralSmart™ to start building solid relationships that can help grow your business by getting more referrals.
-Steven Boorstein for ReferralSmart™
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