Taking Making Time to Network – Part III
Step three – how to use the time wisely.
In Part I of this series we talked about what types of networking opportunities there are.
In Part II the focus was becoming involved in the networking groups of choice.
So now you have joined a few different types of networking groups. You have even volunteered to serve the members of the group as well as your community at large. Now what? How do you get the most out of giving your time to these groups? After all, your time is valuable. What is the best way to get the members of your particular group or groups to help you?
Patience – Take time to get to know the other members of the group as they also take time to know you. When you join a group you will more than likely be able to tell others about you and your Home Staging business. It is always possible that one or more members of your group may have begun a search for a Home Stager just before you joined. The truth is; that is not likely! Yet as the members of the group get to know you, as they get to know your work ethic through your volunteerism, and as they get to know more about what skill sets you have then at some point they will remember to recommend you to a friend, a business associate, a family member or even an acquaintance at some point.
Pay Attention – Listen to your associates. Hear what they say about what their needs and desires are. Be prepared to recommend them to people you know. Think of ways you can help others in your group achieve their goals. Take note of your companion’s hobbies, interests and activities and think of ways to connect with them through this knowledge.
Plan – Develop a plan or strategy for remembering what your fellow members say about themselves. Some people take notes on the back of business cards. A way that I’ve discovered to capture information is to always have 3X5 cards with me and to use them for taking notes. These cards fit in a shirt pocket or a purse easily. I stow them in my planner, my business card holder, my purse, my briefcase, my laptop carrier, and the glove box of my car. (The folks at the office supply store probably wonder what in the world I do with all those 3X5 cards. I hope they ask me because I would love to tell them about my Home Staging business!)
Practice – Practice the three “P’s” above. When you walk into your first meeting practice patience – don’t expect others in the group to flock to you as if you are the answer to all their needs. Several months may pass before anyone even remembers what it is you actually do. Practice paying attention. Ask questions of your fellow members which allow them to tell you things about themselves. Without getting too personal you can ask questions like, “How did you get started in your business?” Or, “What is the thing you like most about the business you are in?” Practice capturing and using information about your fellow members or participants to form bonds. For instance if you find that “Harry” loves to go fishing you may wish to pass on the discount certificate you received from the local sports store. Or, you may discover that “Elaine” is planning a trip to Lander, Wyoming. You may wish to send her a list of the places you visited and enjoyed when you were there a few months ago.
Just like anyone who wishes to play the piano or any other instrument must take time to practice in order to become good, so you to must practice all the skills necessary to become a great at networking.
Play For Fun – Participate in and attend all your meetings prepared to answer questions asked of you about you or your business by others. But, more importantly, when you attend meetings and activities have fun learning about the other participants businesses, goals and desires. Strive to help others. Make a game of trying to always find a way to help someone in some way at each networking opportunity. Spreading the message about you and your business will be taken care of when others realize you are a caring and giving person who can be counted on to get things done.
Dan McComb the Co-founder of Biznik.com is another person who believes it is necessary to think of others first when networking. You can read his blog about networking to glean further information.
This information is provided by Yvonne Root owner of rooms b.y. root. The team at rooms b.y. root helps home owners and real estate professionals in Prescott and surrounding areas as well as central Northern Arizona prepare property in order to make it stand out from the large crowd of other houses for sale in today's real estate market.