I’ve been around the block and learned some things along the way. Regardless of the type of business, there’s one irrefutable fact I’ve found in healthy development: “It’s not what you do, it’s who you know.”
We’ve all heard that adage, and although it may sound cliché, there is truth within this statement. And it is powerful, with a great deal of potential. Utilizing the connections we’ve established in life help us grow with our families, friends and business.
Word of mouth is king. Taking the time to network and talk with others builds rapport and trust. The more a person trusts you, the more they’ll advocate on your behalf. I’ve experienced this. Every successful business owner and entrepreneur experiences this. We rely on it to grow. Below are crucial networking principles, that when put into practice, will supercharge your network.
1. Utilize digital tools, like LinkedIn.
Technology and free online tools available online make it very easy to connect and network with peers. If you haven’t already, sign up for an account, because I’ve personally reconnected with some past associates I never imagined I’d see again. The technology is simple, but its impact can be profound.
Start now by connecting with Paramount now on LinkedIn:
2. Everyone is a resource.
Pre-judging the importance of a business relationship can be extremely detrimental. Why? Over the years, I’ve learned that you never know how a particular individual might benefit you and your business. More importantly, the concept behind networking is to establish connections. I want to grow my network, and I do so by unrestricting the intake of new contacts. When I network with someone, I’m also taking the first step into gaining access to their network of business professionals. By choosing to not work with one person, I could potentially be shutting myself out of the most potentially important connection I never made. This is business. Stay objective. Utilize every potential asset available.
3. Attitude is everything.
Check any negative baggage at the door. I know we all have our ups and downs, but you’ve got to think past emotion, because in business, it’s all about the bottom line. I represent my business with upbeat candor, confidence and professionalism. Like everyone else, I get one chance to make a first impression, so I keep in mind the importance of how I act. It may seem like a simple and unnecessary point, but creating and maintaining a good, positive and professional image has benefitted my network tremendously. When I focus on this, I begin to see that more people want to and will interact with me. It’s simple psychology – people are drawn to positive attitude. I use it to my advantage, because it is empowering and effective.
4. The door swings both ways.
Networking isn’t just about me, or you. Keep in mind that your business network also seeks business. Be aware of what’s going on around you and make an effort to consciously connect others. I can tell you from first hand experience, that you’ll build rapport and give them a reason to not only think about you more often, but refer more business to you more often.
5. Know your role.
Take the time to research your type of business. Learn what others have done before you. Understand the industry specifics which define what it is you do and offer to your clients or customers. After much time in my industry, I’ve taken this sentiment into practice. I understand the details and have a much clearer perspective on the big picture – not only for my business, but how it interacts with other industries, which is a key strength of an effective networker. A business professional must never forget the importance of knowledge and data. I know my capabilities and deliver them, expectations to meet and exceed them, industry lingo and terms to effectively communicate and most importantly, I know yourself and how I fit in as the professional who knows how to get the job done right.
I hope this information is valuable to you. I share these things with you because I am very passionate about small business and its success. Use me as a resource. Call me. E-mail me. Ask me. I am happy to share my business experience with you, so that you can grow, profit and succeed.