|“"Networking is about who you know,
not what you want."
The Benevolent Dictator, MKMC, November 2005”
If you approach a networking opportunity
with a view to peddling your goods or services, you're
unlikely to be successful. Networking is far more
than an opportunity to use your "elevator
pitch". It's about establishing credibility, making
friends and building a level of trust.
People do business with people they
like. If you can make people like you and want to
please you, you're halfway to doing business with
When you meet new people, think not how much they might
buy from you but instead how you can help them.
Keep that in the forefront of your mind and you won't go
too far wrong.
Ask for their help and offer
yours. Remember that everyone you meet will have
their own personal network and if they have
confidence in your ability to deliver goods or services,
they'll be more likely to refer other people to
In Milton Keynes we have a very wide range of different
business networking groups groups and hundreds of people
are involved. Among those are the "power
networkers" - the people who seem to be everywhere
and know everyone.
Those are the best people to get to know well, because
they will open more doors for you and will be the
gateway from your networks into others. Try to
find out who these people are and make a point of
introducing yourself and getting to know them.
Virtual networks may seem tame by
comparison, but these can be as powerful, if not more
so. But egroups and LinkedIn
enable one person to contact hundreds
with just one email. Finding
suppliers and services through the virtual groups is
very easy and particularly useful if you are asking for