Networking with fellow entrepreneurs is the only way you can get out of the garage. Last week we learned how people like Walt Disney and the creator of Yankee Candle made it big. Little Mike made a candle, and you know how his little light shined? His neighbor saw him and thus his business boomed.
Stage fright lasts only for a few seconds and once you find a way to swallow the frog in your throat you find a way to talk about your passion, about your product or services you will be able to allow your shoulders to loosen.
Here are a few ways how you can begin to network and next week we’ll discuss where you can begin to network.
#1 Stand Up
Begin by introducing yourself and remembering names. When someone introduces himself or herself to you, make sure you catch their name and reiterate it – shake their hand and say their name back to them. Give them a nod and use their name several times during the conversation.
#2 Follow Up
Exchange business cards and date your new business clients. You do not have to wait three days. You do not have to wait for them to email you first. When you get back to the office, get settled in and send them a quick but quality filled email. You know, something that sparks conversation and picks up where you might have left off; this shows you listened, heard and processed their information.
#3 Keep Up
Business days are Monday through Friday; there are five of them. Try to not let five of them go between non-essential conversations or meetings. Whether clients or confidants it is important to value the time of others and to earn the respect of your colleagues.
#4 Show Up
Let’s admit it, attending events – informal, creative cocktail, backyard BBQ or black tie formal – at times can be self-serving. Who doesn’t like a good dining in or out experience? More importantly this is great face time - to circulate with established friends, business acquaintances and make new friends (but keep the old!).
#5 Grow Up
Embrace new ideas. Some of those new friends you meet may spark a conversation and bring you back to #1 Stand Up. When you combine all these 5 steps you can magnify the outreach and create a bigger boom for your business. Through networking you get in the know. Moreover, you grow upwards, generate interest, produce fiscal numbers, impact your community and help residents.
How to go about it? We’ve covered that.
What next? Take one step a time to go from local to regional. Check back next week to see how to get there.
-The Green Couch