Networking – 10 Tips for Success

How often have you heard the old adage “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts”, and have reluctantly acknowledged the truth of it, as you observe many successful business people in action?

In our own area of small business, many of us work from home, pay home visits or are looking for ways to introduce our skills and our wonderful therapy into the marketplace – be it the corporate area, in Sporting Centres, Retirement Villages or the like.

The key to success has to be getting known about. The adage then becomes “It’s not what you know that counts, not even who you know, but who knows you!”

This is what networking is all about – extending your sphere of contacts and   establishing links with as many people as possible so that when they or a friend need  reflexology*  they will think of you first.

*eg: pain relief, stress-busting, getting back into balance, more energy etc.

Networking seems to have become a new buzz word of our times, but it is as old as business itself! Just the

parameters are a bit different these days. Now there are special networking functions, numerous books written on the subject, and seminars you can attend. But is it so difficult?

Not really – but it does take consistent time and effort. Here are ten of the most important things you need to know:

  • People do business with people they know, like and trust.
  • It is OK to promote yourself – otherwise no-one will know about what you do and how good you are.
  • Raise your profile in the community – find out what’s on in your area and be there.
  • Make it easy for people to contact you – make your business card eye-catching and clear, have an answering machine &/or an E-mail address; always phone back promptly.
  • Combine your interests with networking – eg: join a bushwalking group or a volunteer organisation.
  • Position yourself as an expert in what you do eg: care of pregnant women.
  • Identify the spheres of influence in the community you want to work in.  They are usually friendly, approachable and curious about new people attending their networks. These people are worth getting to know and can be very helpful.
  • Never be afraid of giving things away – they come back tenfold.
  • Attend one networking function a week. Robyn Henderson, networking specialist, defines a networking function as “anywhere you don’t know five people”.
  • Give others a hand up – help promote their businesses, and they will help you.

References:
“Be seen,Get Known,Move Ahead”
“How to Master Networking” by Robyn Henderson