My LOVE for Business Networking and why it’s the BEST Small Business Marketing Strategy!

Richard Branson is on my side when it comes to Networking.  Yay! (Or perhaps the other way around).

Richard Branson is on my side when it comes to Networking. Yay! (Or perhaps the other way around).

I love Business Networking.  It’s lots of fun.  It’s very profitable.  It’s very low in cash-costs to conduct and it was the core Small Business Marketing Strategy that changed my life for the better.

Talking more my Leadership Role in the 4Networking Australia Business Community rather than my own Marketing Mentoring & Training business – I meet over 200+ people per week and have met thousands over the years I have been in business.  I have seen confident “Know everything characters” totally fail in business networking and the quiet achievers such as Martha Arifin, Simona Marchut, Edward Wright, Kimberly Buttriss etc etc succeed on a range of different levels.

With quite a few of my clients (especially the solo Service Providers) I commonly recommend business networking as a core part of their own Sales & Marketing Strategy.  Why?

– It worked for me.

– It’s worked for thousands worldwide.

– It’s worked for thousands of years.

– It gets you to meet hundreds of potential partners and clients.

– It makes you feel good.

– It keeps you active.

– It is a proven, tried and tested technique.

– Richard Branson says it works.

What I have found interesting is that I worked with some clients (fortunately not for long) last year that for whatever reason developed a hate of business networking and went against my own advice – and the proven results of many worldwide.

Business Networking was just too hard and it’s critics are an interesting lot.  In fact, I have NEVER met a wealthy critic of business networking.  The critics I have had from Networking (and by the way, all of the ones that have gone against me on this one still haven’t got anywhere near the success of people pro-business networking) have used some of the following arguments on me.  I have included my own come backs too:

1 – [Critic]: Edward you Suck – Networking takes too long.  I want Sales today.

1 – [Me]: Really, so Facebook Marketing will give you Sales today?

 

2 – [Critic]: Edward you Suck – I have been working all day and had to get up early in the moring.

2 – [Me]: So Bill Gates sleeps in to 10AM each day? I doubt it.

 

3 – [Critic]: Edward you Suck – I didn’t get any work today from Networking.

3 – [Me]: ……

 

I have heard it all from poor people trying to convince me that Business Networking sucks while I have 200+ people I know personally who are kicking butt out of it.  Also, to stack to this argument I am going to bring my mate Richard Branson in by quoting part of one of his articles at entrepreneur.com:

“…from the very first moment you begin to realize that your idea is worth pursuing, the first step on the road to success is building a network.

To get started, attend industry events and meet key players; join regional business associations and start learning about local market conditions. Also remember that you can meet potential mentors at schools, clubs and business groups. Someday, when you get stuck or when something goes wrong, these contacts will be the people you’ll turn to for help. (Finding investors is a step that follows: People buy from people, so if you’re limited in terms of who you can access, talk to and sell to, well, you probably won’t get very far.)”

I really like reading these great words and I wish I dug out this quote last year! Basically, if you are against business networking – I am going to use the “Richard Branson” defense.  So next time one of my critics say this, I am going to reply:

– “So you know better than Richard Branson? You think he has no idea?”.

Not that this logic will work.  The reason being is that the critics I have seen of business networking haven’t argued their cases very logically.  It’s more “Comfort” or “Impatience” driven – which sadly goes to their own commercial demise.

My take on all this? Just going “Networking” for “Networking” sake won’t get you the results you are after.  If you are actively networking, make sure you treat it as a serious business process and work out the best way you can present and offer your product / services to the market – and of course build a powerful community around yourself as well.  From your business cards, to pitches, to ethics, to strategic partnerships – they all add up to awesomeness!

Hope you loved this article and if you want to learn more about Business Networking, make sure you check out my sweet Online Sales & Marketing Course “The Awesome Marketing Vault!”

Hope you are having a great one out there awesome people and talk soon!

Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Networking Lover!