Over the years I’ve encountered a number of people who say networking doesn’t work. Rubbish! Today I’m going to prove that networking works on a number of different levels.
Selling my services
My diary is currently full of exciting projects. I have just completed a marketing campaign for a baker celebrating a centenary in business. The news release I sent out was picked up within the hour by one journalist who knows me through networking.
I’m working on marketing plans for a variety of businesses from business support organisations to restaurants, coaches and health and well being consultants. I’m about to launch a campaign for a client’s new coaching academy and am working with another organisation to offer some training of my own. I have completed a number of speaking engagements and have more in the pipeline, All of this work has come through my network.
Are these people I met yesterday? No most of them are not! Most are people I have built a relationship with over a number of years. Those whom I have met recently were recommended to me by clients or people who have known me for a number of years. That’s the point. Networking is rarely a quick win. It takes time to build relationships, to earn peoples’ trust and for them to need our services. The people who say networking doesn’t work usually expect to go to an event and sell their services instantly.
Helping my clients
I have a lovely new client who is looking to open a shop and online retail business. Retail is my first love so this is a really exciting project but in retail location is everything and she is planning to open in an area I know very little about. However, I do know a man who is an expert in her area. I asked him for help and I have just come back from an incredibly useful meeting with him and my client.
My clients frequently ask if I can recommend an accountant, a graphic designer, a printer and various other services. I almost always can because of my network. I may never become a client of some of these businesses but that doesn’t mean I can’t put work their way. My network can help me to deliver a better service to my clients.
Finding service providers
After almost 23 years living in our home we have a number of renovations that we want to do including replacing a shower room. My network has provided me with recommendations for four plumbers capable of doing the work. One of those plumbers has recommended a plasterer and an electrician for some of the other work we need doing. Those people will do a good job because they will want to work with the plumber on other projects.
I am a bit achy today because my personal trainer who I met at a networking event found some under used muscles in my workout yesterday! By working with him and my diet coach who I also met networking I am slowly getting into the shape I want to be and fit and ready for my holiday.
I am close to being ready to book another holiday through a travel expert in my network. I no longer buy named brands of skincare because I have suppliers in my network who have better products that are great value. Yet another contact will be repairing and redesigning some jewellery for me.
So if you thought networking doesn’t work please think again. If you work at it, give before you expect to receive and allow the time it takes for relationships to develop I’m sure you will find it works for you too.