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Seven things every business owner needs to network effectively
A handy checklist of seven things every business owner needs to network effectively and NO – the list doesn’t start or end with a business card. If you don’t have these 7 things you may be wasting your time and money.
By Brenda Thomson
- A plan and goals for your networking – know what you want to achieve and why.
- A clearly defined target market – so you know who you want to meet and where and how to find them.
- A well defined unique value proposition and a way to express it quickly and clearly.
- A follow up strategy (and scheduled time to implement it – put follow up time in your diary at the same time as you schedule each networking event)
- A solid brand image – your LinkedIn or Facebook profile and your web-site. The places people who met you might go to check you out need to reflect how you want to be perceived.
- A professional way to be contacted. When I ring a mobile number off someone’s business card and get an answering message that says “the person you are trying to reach is unavailable please leave a short ten second message which will be sent as a text” you can count on it… I will never do business with or refer business to that person. If your mobile number is private – don’t put it on your business card. If it’s public then get a decent answering message!
- Two ears, only one mouth and a genuine attitude of caring. Effective networkers ask more questions than they answer, listen more than they talk, focus on the needs of the people they are talking to rather than their own, look for ways to help other people before themselves.
Articles in the Synergy48 Group Networking Resource Pack
How to create a networking plan
Where should I network?
Who do you want to meet at a networking event?
What are strategic partnerships and why should I care?
Seven steps to effective networking follow up
How to evaluate the effectiveness of your networking efforts
CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group
Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business.
Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.
Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference. She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.