Be memorable to other business owners – When you attend these groups you need to be memorable. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a very unique and creative business card. Alternatively, experienced networkers will have a silly poem as a tagline: “When you’re bathroom becomes a bummer, just remember Pete the Plumber!” You don’t necessarily have to be “cheesy”, but you MUST find a way to be memorable.
Find businesses in your network that compliment your own – If you own an online jewelry store, you should partner up with local businesses that are in the wedding industry. By referring business to your power partners (which is WAY easier to do than to refer business to non-related businesses), the greater the chance your power partners will refer you business in return. Makes sense right?
Find out which networking groups are effective – Not all groups are going to be good at delivering business. When you start attending business networking groups in your area, ask other business owners what other groups they like. Over time you’ll notice a trend of what groups seems to deliver the best value.
Frequent these groups once a week – The only way anyone is going to remember who you are, and more importantly, what you do, is if you show your face regularly. The more you show up, the more referrals you will get.
Identify the superstar networkers – In every networking group there will always be “superstar” networkers. These are business owners that really understand the value of synergizing and helping other businesses out. What you want to do is identify these superstars and develop a good relationship with them. Generally these people will have been in the group the longest, and will have the most influence within the group.
Keep going – The reward of networking doesn’t happen overnight. You will need to devote a good few months for it to really take effect. This goes back to giving people in your networking group time to know who you are and what you do. Also, you’ll need time to deliver your first referrals too. But once you get your networking mojo down – it can pay off immensely.