One of the most effective ways to grow your business is to develop strong relationships – online or offline – with a group of people who know you, have a clear understanding of your products and/or services, AND enthusiastically promote you to their network. How do you create such a robust network? Here are five steps to ensure that your “net” is working.
- Take the first step. Find out how you can support those in your network and their endeavors BEFORE asking for support. Show you’re sincerely interested by your actions. Be the first to provide referrals.
- Know how many people you can successfully serve. Networks need tender loving care to thrive. When you can no longer cultivate the current relationships in your network, you may have reached your capacity. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Be visible. Do you know the old saying “out of sight, out of mind?” The same principle applies to your network. Remain visible through calls, notes, e-mails, luncheons, and meetings. Caution—know the difference between being visible and being annoying.
- Support the members of your network. When a member of your network has an open house—attend. If you are in the vicinity of a member’s business, stop in. Distribute your network’s business cards to your clientsand/or display their cards in your place of business.
- Clearly articulate your needs. Be clear and concise about who you are, what you provide, what you do for your clients, and the type of clients you are seeking to make it easier for your network to grasp your offerings and promote you to others.
Given the fact that the average person knows 250 people, devoting valuable resources to cultivating a productive network can produce a substantial return on your investment. (Can you imagine what your return would be if your network was greater than average?)
What’s your favorite way of ensuring your “net” is working?
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