Why Networking Boosts Growth
Networking, some people love it, but most of us hate it. Whichever camp you fall into, networking is essential for your business. I’ll be honest, I used to hate networking. Everything about it (especially networking events) seemed too forced. They seemed fake, artificial and as if I was bothering people. I basically couldn’t see why it was important or what I was achieving.
When someone first simply said to me “people do business with people” my networking view started to change. That adage has always stuck with me – I first heard this when interviewing a speaker for a society I was running whilst at University. He explained how to he managed to find his first major client – he simply bumped into this client (quite literally spilling his drink) and built a relationship up. All it took was a chat and a bit of luck (the recipient of happened to be in the market for his product). This was the starting point of an international company and there are plenty of examples of this type of ‘chance’ networking encounter. from SME’s, startups and global companies.
Even if networking and networking events seem fake, it’s important to note that you never know who you’ll meet, who you’ll form incredible relationships with and who might even get you “onto the front page of the New York Times”. Tim Ferris, a great networker has built up a global network of incredible, world leading, people through networking. In this post (goo.gl/uLvkHk) by Ryan Holiday (also a great networker), he explains how Tim built up a network by treating every person he meets positively, treating them as if they might get him onto the front page of one of the world’s biggest newspapers.
If your business has a unique founding story, or interesting people/products behind it, what better way is there to get people enthused in your brand than by simply telling them about it? Also, if you have a minute, check out the story of our relaunch (shameless plug).
Of course, most people aren’t looking to get into the international press or build a global network. People are perhaps looking to grow their business by 10%-20%, find a new supplier with great products or (if this is possible…) find a trustworthy lawyer.
This is where networking can help too, people do business with people and people prefer to do business with people they know. People you’ve met and built a relationship with (especially in person) will help them to remember you and drive sales into the future. We all have clients who we’ve developed personal relationships with, they’re the clients who we reliably retain going forward.