Power of successful networking

Many entrepreneurs are highly skilled, technically knowledgeable and experienced. But, after dealing with entrepreneurs over many years there are two skills areas that are often lacking when it comes to managing a successful business: financial management and marketing.

The financial management will be addressed another, day but today I will focus on one important aspect of marketing, and that is networking.

In my view networking is nothing else than building relationships. It all starts with you. Some people don’t find it easy to build sound networks (relationships) and for others it comes naturally.

Networking is not only about relationships with existing or potential clients. It is with everybody you deal with or bump into – from the person you buy your bread from, to the person sitting next to you on the aeroplane. You need to be so excited about what you do that you want to share it with anyone who is willing to listen. When you do get an ear to listen, share your passion with them.

But networking is also about listening. When someone else shares their world with you, listen – on the one side to gain information and broaden your knowledge base, and on the other to seek opportunities that can favour you.

How you conduct these discussions will lay the foundation as to whether this relationship will develop into business. It is not only about sharing information, on a personal level you want the other person get excited about your business and want to deal with you. Needless to say, it is important that you should get their contact details and agree on a follow-up communication. And do follow up – before the lead gets cold.