What are good networking strategies?
I am looking to build a good aggressive referral networking group in the Washington DC Metro. Do you have any good recommendations for good networking strategies?
Networking is about "giving", it's a two-way relationship.
Linkedin, Meetup.com, BNI, etc are just tools and channels for networking.
As the old saying goes: "Networking is not about who you know, it's about who knows you."
Here are some recommendations:
1- Read "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi
2- Offer your services or products for free to your favorite charity organizations. Move something for them, or host a speech on best ways to save when moving ... stuff like that.
3- Polish your online networking. For example, if you're trying to promote "Olympia Moving & Storage" in DC area, then your links should direct visitors to that website. The blog (I love it, by the way) has nothing to do with moving. That may confuse visitors to your profile.
4- Before joining BNI, attend as a guest, get a feel if it's for you (it's not for everyone).
5- Go to meetup.com events in your area, or start a new one.
6- DC is a great location for conferences and trade shows. Trade shows offer a great chance to meet new people from different parts of the country.
Hope this helped.
You need to get on LinkedIn. Make sure to fill out your profile with as much quality information as you can, then use the search feature to find people that meet your criteria. Check out the groups too. You may find there is already a group of Washington networkers you can join and collaborate with.
I would definitely suggest that you consider taking a look at the networking groups on Meetup.com to get started. If you are looking to develop a group, the best networking strategy is to participate in groups both online and offline.
I would Identify professional organizations who hold monthly meetings and then attend their events, attend open networking, B2B events sponsored by the local Chambers of Commerce, check out local Meet Up groups dedicated to B2B networking, and so on with an eye towards seeing what they do, how they do it, and who typically attends.
I would also reach out to my personal contacts (LinkedIn is always a good source) and ask them what they look for when they join a group or what groups have provided the best referrals and why.
I'm a member of a great group here, but right now we're only in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.
Good networking strategies for what purpose? For you personally?
These folks have a nice process and some supporting tools for growing your business by referral - http://theexpertdirectory.com/.
If you go to the Training section on their site, you will find great info on building your network.
The site owners are colleagues of mine, so if you would like an introduction to them, just let me know.
There are two networking strategies that work really well.
1. Pass around a bowl so everyone can put in a card. Then pass it around again and everyone draws a card. That way you set up two one-on-one's, one with the person whose card you drew, and one with the person who drew your card. Sitting down for regular 1-on-1's is the single best thing you can do to improve your business networking results.
2. Get everyone to share a client success story. That's the best way to teach other people how to bring you more leads that are most like your best customers.
Firstly one needs to establish a goal and some purposes. What is the purpose and goal for networking? What is it you want to network. Then
To set your networking goals you need to:
identify the person or the type of industry you need to make contact with
identify whether you need to use your personal, existing or professional networks
identify exactly what you want from each contact or what you want to give them
list suitable questions or networking strategies to achieve your desired goal(s)
Formal Network Memberships
Face to face contact
Always come prepared. Have some openers you can initiate conversations with. Create an agenda. What are you going t6o speak about? Be prepared to listen. If you listen long enough the individual is eventually going to ask you about you. Then your opportunity will come to talk about your interests. Focus on the individual in front of you, not wander your attention around the room looking at whoever might be there. Find some common ground or interests. Ask people for their help. People like to help. End off with a next step. Getting together at some future time, or sharing some information useful to both of you for example.
Lastly maintain contact with people you have developed a relationship with. Rarely does anything come of a new relationship immediately but often it does later down the track.
Just a few points
In my experience I have noticed that when I spend more time during a networking event and develop a relationship, it usually makes it easy to send in my request on my needs. Due to spending time at the first meeting and following up later to get to know someone, I also find out the person's needs.
When I meet such needs when I can or direct the person to where he or she can find solution, that makes the relationship solid and makes it easier to make my request.
EYou can read the detail from this link http://m.businessknowhow.com/marketing/business-networking.htm.
Networking is about connecting people (new and old as well),building and Nurturing the relationships with them.
According to my opinion and experience, for Effective Results from "Good Networking", one may adopt following tack tits/measures:
1.Set Goals: Bifurcate into Short, Medium and Long term even in every area of life
2. Build Your Networking Muscle: attend lots of networking events i.e. Seminar/workshop/lectures etc.
3. Develop Thick Skin: means Earn a lot of Passion to hearing “No”, over and over and over again
4. Be Nice to Everyone You Meet
5. Be Giving: give your time, advice and especially your Referrals
6. Grow Your Relationship Database: it may consist of In-Person and Online Networking Groups
7. Communicate: regularly with your networking database
8. Keep it Simple
9. Build Rapport: be People Magnet rather People Repellent. Look and Act Positive, Warm and Friendly
10. Access Available Resources: these can be your family, friends or Colleagues. These can be your college associations, Alumni etc.
If you have some time then read books like "The Power of Women United", an inspirational and informative book on networking.
To increase your network you must appeal to the people you are aiming to connect with. Some people think this means you should compromise your true character to be noticed, but in reality it means to continue to be yourself and keep your integrity. When going to networking events make sure you go with a purpose and not to just socialize.
A strong network operates like any business with a solid value proposition. You should be useful to others. So focus on giving them something that they want and/or need. They come first. Then, when and if you need something in return, you aren't being greedy. You're just doing what people who have developed an understanding or relationship do.
Check on LinkedIn. I am sure there will be groups listed there.
Visualizing your target contacts, whether they be buyers, colleagues, etc, and thinking about where they frequent, online or offline, is a good start. Make sure you bring value, and that any networking relationship is mutually beneficial.
Business people, in particular, are very experienced in screening out the "salespeople in a networking suit."
That's the best advice I can give. A lot of networking should be natural, un-forced, and honed from building relationships over time.
Hampton, I'm figuring you are doing this more for professional purposes. If that's the case, do you happen to already have mentors/trusted colleagues that know people in the DC metro area? I find the most value in referrals, and that is one way that I grow my network. Also as many others have suggested, getting on LinkedIn and joining groups that are relevant to you are important, and attending as many events as you can to meet and connect with people.
just join many online forums. FB, TWITTER, Networking events, etc...
Networking groups are an awesome way to share your service, product or idea.
Most important that most of us miss is help others before helping yourself.