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Why is networking so important to businesses?

Mon 25 June 2012

 

So why is networking so important to businesses.

It seems an obvious question that has been covered a lot in networking blogs, but there are still many small busy businesses out there who probably feel that they don’t have the time or real desire to join a networking group. Today I thought I’d just run over some old ground and highlight why joining a networking group like #BNI really is a no brainer.


1. Networking is a successful way to meet contacts that you would have no other way of contacting. Meeting face to face at a business networking event or meeting is by far the most reliable and successful way to go about fixing up a meeting with someone. If a personal relationship is established before you pick up the phone or swap business cards – your chances of doing business with that person is probably tripled than if you just had cold called them. 

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2. Don’t forget that everyone in your business networking group knows someone else – although your immediate group is extremely important, everyone that they know is as well. Your referral circle is widened greatly by joining a group of networking contacts


3. If you do a good job for a customer and that customer decides to recommend and refer you on to three or four of their colleagues, friends and family – that’s great. However if you’re part of a networking group like #BNI - 10 to 20 of those networking members may only have to tell one person about you and your business  - but already your “exposure”  is now more than doubled - than if just one loyal customer refers you to three or four people. By growing the right network, the ultimate in “word of mouth” marketing takes place. You promote your network, and your network promotes you.  



4. Businesses need to be prepared for all eventualities, especially in a recession. Unfortunately in a tough climate anything can happen and instead of having to rely on people and business that you don’t know in hard times – if you network strategically then you should have a selected group of people at your fingertips that you can call upon, if and when, you need support or help. It’s like having your own management team on standby. 


5. You may feel that a networking group could bring in too much business – work load that you might not be able to take on right now, due to being busy or understaffed etc. Fear not though – networking provides you with choice, it’s not like you are forced to accept every piece of business that comes your way, instead you have the luxury of picking and choosing which customers work for you. Sometimes if businesses are desperate for work then they are forced to take on anything that comes their way, even if it does mean working for less money. If there is a choice of clients to take on, then you may be able to pick and choose who you decide to do business with. This gives you the freedom to work with people who will benefit your business and bring out the best in your work.

 

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