One of the most important activities in growing a business is growing relationships.
Many people think they can go out to networking events, hand their cards out and the business will come flowing in.
It may happen like that, but not likely. It did happen somewhat for my husband and I with our removals company that we sold up this year. But not always.
The reason we got such an amazing deal when selling our company was due to nurturing relationships. They trusted us and we trusted them.
It takes time, energy and effort to build a network.
Through building that network you build relationships with people who know you, trust you and will do business with you.
I was at one networking event a long time ago where I witnessed two men that had no clue what networking was all about.
The first guy walked up to me, introduced himself, asked my name and proceeded to tell me what he did and how it could help me. He then left to talk to someone else and a second gentleman came up, introduced himself, didn’t bother to get my name, gave me promotional information about what he was selling and then went off to talk to someone else.
Neither of these men would remember me if I called them, and I have no idea if they are people I like or trust, so there isn’t a chance I will do business with them.
And all I remember about them is that interaction, not who they are or what they do.
Networking like this is a big waste of time.
Unless you’re willing to build your network, get to know the people, and perhaps see how you can help them, you might as well stay home.
Networking isn’t just for people who run their own businesses either.
All of us have a network of people we depend on.
We might use their services, get referrals from them and ask for assistance when seeking a job.
I call this cross-pollinating, and we all do it.
It is vitally important that we build relationships with the people in our network so that we can obtain good tips and advice.
If you neglect your network you might find yourself without resources or references when you most need them.
Networks are important to your success.
To have a useful network you must build and nurture the relationships and focus on how you can help your network before you consider taking from it.
Zig Ziggler advises that the best way to build your business is to help someone else build theirs. Givers get. You don’t just take from your network; you also give to it.
The secret is the more you give to your network the more you will get back.
Nurtured relationships will always nurture you. And that’s not only about business either.