Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Low Cost Options for Growing Your Business: NETWORKING

Of all of the low cost options available to businesses who want to grow their business, networking is often overlooked. Networking is an easy way to start building relationships to grow your business. So here are some relationship building ideas to consider for your business:

  1. Association Memberships - If you don't know what association memberships may be available to you in your area, pick up a copy of any local business journal and read through the calendar of events for a solid month. You'll find many association meetings, special events, keynote speakers, and other opportunities are listed. Most associations allow guests to visit a couple of times before they are required to join, so take advantage of that and test the networking opportunities before you consider joining.

  2. Chamber of Commerce Events - If you're a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, take advantage of as many networking opportunities as they provide for you. Many times these are already covered by your membership dues.

  3. Attend Conferences and Trade Shows - You may be surprised at how many solid business leads you can generate at a trade show or conference, even if you aren't the one exhibiting.

  4. Join Networking or Business Leads Groups - There are many local, regional, and international networking groups to choose from. Find out what's available in your local area and visit them. If there aren't any established groups in your city, establish or sponsor one yourself. What a great way to promote your business while helping others network and promote theirs at the same time.

  5. Seek Out Speaking Opportunities - Take some time to develop a couple 30-45 minute presentations on topics related to your business or industry and market it to area associations, chapters, and community groups. Local organizations are always looking for free programs. Keep your topics general enough to cover a diverse audience, yet interesting enough to keep their attention, and you'll be able to find many speaking opportunities. Make sure your introduction includes your 60 second "elevator speech" and have plenty of business cards and brochures available for after you're finished. It's a great way to build rapport and establish connections with a large group of people at one time.

For more information on how to be a successful networker, visit http://nemec.com/2007/10/successful-networking-techniques.html.

Rose Slaymaker
Nemec Marketing Group

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Successful Networking Techniques

Do networking events make you nervous or uneasy? Would you like to maximize your return on the time you spend at networking events? Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your next networking event before you go, while you're there, and after you leave.

Before the Event

  • Set Goals (Why are you going and what do you want to accomplish by going?)
  • Practice Self-Introduction
  • Bring Plenty of Business Cards
  • Arrive Early
  • Offer to Help

During the Event

  • Keep Goal in Mind
  • Strive to Get Out of Comfort Zone—Great Way to Build Skills
  • Smile and Maintain Good Eye Contact
  • Be Purposeful and Enthusiastic – Have an Idea of the Benefits of Attending
  • Have Firm Handshake (but Not too Strong)
  • Acknowledge Person’s Name in Shortly After Shaking Hands—Helps with Name Retention
  • Talk to People Who are Alone
  • Listen for Things You Have in Common
  • Exchange Business Cards & Make Notes on Back
  • Ask How You Can Help Them
  • Sit at Separate Tables (if you’re in a group from the same company)

After the Event

  • Follow Up – Meet for Coffee or Lunch
  • Volunteer for a Committee – Will Help You Build Comfort Level with an Organization
  • Give Referrals – Be a Resource

Four Steps of Conversation

Step 1: Small Talk – name, job, weather, or the situation that brings you together

Step 2: Fact Disclosure - occupation, hobbies

Step 3: Viewpoints & opinions - politics or your opinion of a certain person

Step 4: Personal Feelings - concern about a family situation or member

Rose Slaymaker
Nemec Marketing Group

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Seven Tips for Growing Your Business

  1. Do one positive thing every day to grow your business.
  2. Identify your top 25 customers and referral partners.
  3. Ask for referrals.
  4. Network, Network, Network -- Get connected!
  5. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up -- Contact me for more ideas on followup systems!
  6. Keep learning, helping others, and be a resource -- let me know how I can help you!
  7. Embrace technology.

Rose Slaymaker
Nemec Marketing Group

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