Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, commerce and business do not happen without connections between key decision holders and facilitators. Although a large amount of businesses practice what they call “networking,” most actually don’t make significant, long term connections with business partners.
When there are no connections, business opportunities are limited and what could have been a better bottom line is not achieved.
In most cities, especially one like San Francisco, there are a myriad of ways to meet business people. There are plentiful business after hours mixers, meet-up meetings throughout the day, conferences, seminars and professional networking organizations where one can make face to face contact with people from almost every industry.
The results that usually come out of these events are a few business cards are exchanged with very little follow up later. Even if there is a follow up meeting after the initial contact, the nurturing of the business relationship often falls short.
Typically, because of these results, most blame it on the event or the organization that holds the event. In some instances there may be some support for that argument. However, the majority of the issue is that we never really grab onto the opportunities there. There are all those potential business contacts, either to be your direct clients or your connection to your target clients.
Like our personal lives, developing business relationships with real connection requires us to put in the effort.
This blog will carry many topics and ideas that I hope will help us do that.
Here are some starters:
- Believe in your ability to be a connector
- Every event you go to has a contact or two for you to make and develop a business relationship
- Nurture the business relationship through real action that is regular and building
- Making connections, creates business for life
Believe in Your Ability To Be A Connector
Before anyone believes in your services or products, they need to believe in you. Prepare yourself mentally before going to any event, mixer or meeting. What your contacts value most is how you solve their pain . Remember the leads and the sales will come, but you have to enter any interaction by finding who they are, what they do, and what their issues or needs are that you can assist with in bringing a solution to them.
This does not mean your services or products are what they need. It means you will sincerely leverage your network of contacts to help them. Once you are in this mindset, people will come to you, want to listen to you and want to meet again with you. Why, because you have made it about THEM and not YOU.
Believe and act like a connector.
Every event you go to has a contact or two for you to make and develop a business relationship
Any event you attend, if there are people, especially business people, there are great contacts. We live in a time where we over filter everything. At business functions, many get into the habit of simply eliminating and connection with anyone who does not fill their narrow checklist of who is worth the cut to be a contact. That attitude and that method will only result in lost business opportunity.
Why? The people you meet may not be your target client or business partner, but their value is on who they know now and in the future. Some my best business clients have come from these kind of contacts.
You have to treat everyone you meet as a connector as a potential business relationship to develop. Discounting them only devalues you as a connector and lost revenue that could have been yours.
Nurture the business relationship through real action that is regular and building
Getting a business card and not following up with a good one on one meeting of some sort is not only bad business form but also lost opportunity. You need to make some sort of contact after you meet people and set up a meeting over coffee or lunch. This will allow for the potential business relationship to take root.
Second, set up a regular schedule of some sort of contact with these individuals. Here you can make some choices as to what level of contact depending on how strong the business relationship.
Take notes at meetings and learn about them. Give them ideas on what you have found to be successful business experiences or methods. Find ways to build mutual business opportunities. Each interaction should show a growing knowledge of each other and their business. It is called a relationship, so create the business, social and sincere contacts over time that shows that is what is being accomplished.
Making connections, creates business for life
From the first contact to a full blown business relationship, sincere connections with actions that reflect exactly that are what is going to create the business opportunities. People do business with people they trust. No ad campaign or marketing scheme can replace that powerful truth.
Business connections- what does it mean today? It means business for life.
I look forward to our further interactions and connections via this blog. Your comments are always welcome and I invite you to share these thoughts with others.
- Networking Provides Possible Sources for Small Business Funding, Growth Opportunities (bizfilings.com)
- How to Leverage Your Best Contacts (inc.com)
- The Pros Share 8 Tips On Turning Contacts To Connections (businessinsider.com)
- How Small Business Owners Build Their Businesses (openforum.com)
- 7 Lucrative B2B E-commerce Opportunities (saleschase.com)
- How To Make Money With Your Primary Business Even When People Say No! (tyneshasales.wordpress.com)
- Get the Best Business Travel Bang for Your Buck (openforum.com)
- Where and How to Meet Potential Investors (grasshopper.com)
- Relationships – Not Money – Make the World Go Round! (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- Network Like You Mean It: The Art of Building Strong Relationships (problog.weddingwire.com)