If you’re an entrepreneur or a direct sales professional, networking is as beneficial to your business as breathing is to your lungs. Here’s why…
5 Benefits You’ll Gain from Networking
1. You’ll gain opportunities to give. According to Entrepreneur.com, networking is “developing and using contacts made in business for purposes beyond the reason for the initial contact. For example, a sales representative may ask a customer for names of others who may be interested in his product.” This is a great definition, but let’s get one thing straight right from the start: Most people mistakenly view networking for what they can get from it instead of what they can give through it. Don’t make this mistake! Give once. Give twice. Give three times. Give…you get the point. If you view networking primarily through getting lenses, you’ll end up gaining a selfish reputation.
2. You’ll gain an education. One of my favorite benefits of networking is the education gained from so many sharp people. In fact, when looking to learn something new, I do two things:
- Consume content via reading or listening to podcasts about the topic
- Network with people who know something about the topic.
Bottom line, professional development and networking are kissing cousins.
3. You’ll gain exposure. The more you connect with others, the more exposure you and your brand will receive. But remember, if your networking is primarily focus on you and what you can get out of it, the exposure you gain will likely turn negative over time. Be sure to focus on serving others when networking and watch both your brand recognition and reputation blossom.
4. You’ll gain new clients and customers. Yes, networking is a great lead generator and sales tool, but be sure to let both happen organically. In other words, cultivate an environment of true service in your networking and when it’s time for you to ask for leads or business, you’ll be positioned to ask boldly.
5. You’ll gain great friends. Business is so much more enjoyable when you’re involved with people you know, like, and trust. Networking naturally leads to these kinds of relationships.
Questions: Have you experienced any of these benefits in your networking?