Marketing has changed dramatically over the years. Business owners have a variety of options how to Market their business effectively. Networking has become such a vital tool for everyone. Become a strong net-worker by joining various groups and organizations within your area. Networking helps business owners to develop a rapport with prospects which can turn into a paying customer. I have learned this in the past year in a half building a warm friendly relationship with a prospect can lead to a hot customer for your business. Sometimes it may take 4 or 5 months by the time a prospect becomes a paying customer.
Networking is not always an easy task and can be very challenging at times for everyone. It takes a strong effort and diligence in reaching out to people. The more business exposure as a business owner you can get the stronger you will be able to build your business. Out of sight and out of mind. If people don't see you at any networking events. Here are two schools of thoughts. First, they may determine you are too busy for any more business. Second, you have shut the doors permanently. Also remember to carry plenty of business cards with you. You never know where your next prospect or paying customer might be.
Do you belong to a local Chamber? I am very active in the Stamford, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. I have built some wonderful and meaningful business colleague relationships. I found it helpful to join the Ambassador's committee. It's a core committee and an excellent way in meeting other business owners. I am also a member of the New Canaan, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. It's a smaller chamber than Stamford and offers different events through out the year. It's another avenue of networking in a local community.
Do you belong to a neighborhood association? Joining a local neighborhood association is another avenue to network with your neighbors and other business owners. Normally these groups only meet monthly or quarterly.
Do you belong to a specialized group? I joined the Females Over 40 Group. It's not only a women's group. Men can also have the opportunity to join or attend an invite. I have built some solid business relationships within this organization. I attend educational networking seminars or casual networking events at a local restaurant.
Have you been invited to any Holiday Parties? This is another great avenue to network with other people. Be sure to bring plenty of your business cards with you. You never know who may be your next prospect and or a new paying client for your business.
After attending and investing money in various groups, it's time to put an action plan together. It is very important after meeting people at any type of networking events to follow up with them immediately with a quick phone call or an email. For example, ask when is a good time to have a cup of coffee or a lite lunch. We all live a very busy schedule. People will forget who they had met very easily after an event if you don't follow up with them immediately.
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