Network Marketing Tips
Here are some Networking 101 training to help you if you have been reluctant to get out and talk with your target market because you are shy or simply have not had a network marketing strategy laid out for you. Many business owners today will tell you that in-person networking is a great way to get new business and meet prospective clients, but going to large groups or chamber of commerce mixers can be daunting for all but the most extroverted among us.
There is nothing at all wrong with being an introvert or extrovert. Some people naturally crave constant interaction with people while others prefer to spend more time by themselves – and many people exhibit qualities of both of these kinds of people.
Implementing these Networking 101 ideas can be tough for the shy business owner or freelancer who needs to promote his or her business. They face tough challenges including:
- Feeling anxious or nervous when talking to new people
- Not knowing how to talk about themselves or their products and services
- Worrying about being self conscious and feeling out of place
Either one of these challenges can be enough to make you want to stay at home and avoid networking events. If you take it one step at a time and use the network marketing tips I am about to suggest, you will see that you too will benefit from networking in a painless and even enjoyable process.
Your 7 Networking 101 Tips
1. When considering networking to promote your business, the first thing is to take the time to research the various networking opportunities in your area so you can see just what is involved. Visit your local chamber of commerce website to see if they offer any networking opportunities for members or guests and you should be able to get an idea how large or formal their meetings are.
2. You might also want to look for some professional networking groups like LeTip, BNI, or GoldStar. Also, do a Google search for “business networking (your town)”. Chances are you will find some smaller, local groups operating in your area.
3. Check out the websites of these groups in your area to get an idea how larg they are. Choose one of the smaller ones to visit as a guest if you want to test the waters and see what the people are like. You do not have to join a group with dozens of people if you are not comfortable doing that – start small and join a group with just a handful of people first, then work your way into larger groups as you get more comfortable talking with others.
4. As with any network marketing strategy, practice makes perfect. Take some time to refine your “elevator speech” and practice how you will reply when people ask you what kind of business you are in and what you do. Do not be so inflexible that everyone you meet gets greeted with the same cookie cutter reply. Practice with a few variations to improvise as you go along.
5. One of the very best network marketing tips I can give you that will take a load of pressure off, is to go to a networking event with the primary goal of just meeting other people and asking them questions about their business. This is great Networking 101 because the less focused you are on yourself and promoting your business the more comfortable you will be talking to other new people. By being more interested in their business and talking about them more than about yourself, the other person cannot help but think how interesting and attentive you are!
6. Bob Berg, author of the excellent book Endless Referrals says that, “Question’s are the successful networker’s most valuable ammunition.” And he is right! His book contains a great list of questions that you should ask others while at networking events and I highly recommend you get a copy if you are even considering networking to help grow your business.
7. When planning to visit your first event, remember that you do not need to stay the whole time. It is OK to start with a short visit and work up to attending longer events. Feel free to take as many breaks as you need to regroup before talking to more people.
As with every network marketing strategy you try out, evaluate your unique situation and see if these Networking 101 ideas are ones that will work to help grow your business. At least try and you may come to find it is something you enjoy doing to market your service or products.
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