Getting Business With Effective Networking (What is the right method for you?)

I am a natural introvert, socializing is not easy for me, and going to organizational groups for networking is not on the top of my priority list. I am definitely not a "Social Butterfly". So how can people like me still effectively find a Networking System that works? In this post, I will share the networking secrets that have helped me get the referrals I want. 

The Oxford online dictionary defines Networking as "the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts."

In theory, it sounds like a great idea.  Build connections and they will recommend you and you can recommend them and in many cases, it does work exactly like that. It can be ideal and an easy way to get business.

Not As Easy As It Sounds

I have found, for me, it doesn't work that way as easily as it sounds. Often there are many unspoken conditions that can be attached to this type of referral system.  

I always say clearly stated expectations are always a sure way to avoid complicated situations that may arise in the future and here is one time that certainly will apply. 

Networking isn't simple, here's my card, I will recommend you if you recommend me.  There are many variables that could come up. What if it appears one of you gets more referrals than the other.  Is that fair?  Could there be additional considerations? What if they charge more than clients want to pay, what if it is a non-essential service, what if they aren't a great salesperson and can't close the sale.  Then what if they mention they send a lot of people your way and you never actually get those calls? These are just a few conversations that could arise.

I know a DJ that we like as a person, his pricing is good, but I just don't think he is a great DJ, and every time we run into him somewhere he always asks, hey why don't you send us more business.  It typically catches me off guard and what do I say? Do I tell him the truth? I don't want to hurt his feelings.  Also, he has never recommended me that I know of. 

I also have a vendor that I LOVE their work and I recommend them all the time. However, that company isn't really great at closing the sale.  That vendor does recommend us all the time, again, what do I say to them? 

There is also another topic to consider. I have found that there are many types of networking groups that could be seen as "clicks".  This is where people recommend other people they like to work with. It is common that certain types of people tend to like to stick with their own kind and what I mean by that is if some people like to cheat other people they may want people who with back them in their mistakes. On the reverse side, some people may take pride in their work and want to work with those who hold themselves accountable and do a good job.  It is hard sometimes to weed out those you don't want to work with and find those you do because you have to actually work with them to see if what they "say" they do, they actually will follow through on. 



So the key takeaway is that forming an alliance with someone or a group of people can be beneficial, you want to make sure you vet them properly BEFORE you decide to be associated with them and be objective when seeking out these partnerships. 

It is our goal to serve others well. Realizing there are many variables, we would love to hear your feedback.  Contact us and let us know your thoughts. 

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