Networking is a Business Decision

Duane Plapp - Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Referral Marketing ExpertBy: Duane Plapp, Referral Institute Cincinnati
When you or your company initiates a new program it is researched and systematically executed. This same strategy should be in place when deciding to use networking as a pro-active marketing strategy to increase revenues.
Networking, when done correctly, can be the best and most affordable marketing tool. It is a marketing strategy to increase visibility and credibility for you and your company. There are four goals that should be achieved at any networking activity.

• Creating and developing relationships: While networking, the goal is to find something in common and exchange ideas with the purpose of creating a relationship. Once the networking is over, be proactive in developing that relationship by arranging a follow up meeting tofigure out how the two of you can grow each other’s business.

• Networking with professionals who can refer you business. Create a referral partner. Seek out people who can refer other people who use your product or services. Referrals are better quality business for you to increase your revenues.

• Network with professionals who have a need for your product or service. This makes the sales process easier and creates a more loyal customer or client.

• Network with people who can enhance your business. Create relationships with people who can give you greater exposure. These people will be connected and have great visibility. This will provide more visibility and credibility.

Use the Ten Commandments of Networking1. Have your networking tools with you (business cards, literature, etc)

1. Have your networking tools with you (business cards, literature, etc)

2. Set a goal of number of people you want to meet.

3. Act like a host.

4. Listen and ask the W questions: Who What Where When and Why.

5. Give a lead or referral whenever possible.

6. Describe your product or service in 60 seconds.

7. Exchange business cards.

8 Spend 10 minutes with each person.

9. Write comments on back of business card.

10. Follow up with people you meet.

Article submitted by Duane Plapp of Referral Institute and member of the Business After Hours committee

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