Networking For Business Growth

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives Assoc

I have had to learn business networking from the ground up over the past 6 years.  I spent most of my professional career as a licensed marriage and family therapist.  This means that I spent the vast majority of my time in a small office.

I have joined BNI, the loca chamber of commerce, ToastMasters, ActiveRain, and much more over the past few years.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the BNI experience.  It was in BNI that I came across the book The 29% Solution by Dr. Ivan Misner (BNI's founder).  This book offers a 52 point self-assessment for networking saavy and behavior.

Essentially, this book walks the reader through 52 different dimensions of business networking.  You will be challenged and surprised by the ideas contained within.

I highly recommend it.

Are you in a weekly business networking group?  If not, you are missing a grand opportunity to increase your referrals and sales.  And, you are missing a lot of fun.

I meet weekly with my BNI chapter.  In fact, I am now president of the chapter.  With the philosophy of Givers Gain, I form relationships with professionals in other professions and help to build their business.

Networking is perhaps the most cost-efficient, effective form of marketing.  Get out and meet people.  Give them your card and ask for referrals or for their business.  It's simple.

If anxiety leads you to neglect this lucrative habit, start slowly.  Meet one person at a time by connecting through the chamber of commerce for lunch or by inviting a business person in your church for breakfast before services.  It's easier than you may think.

Posted by

Richard D Barbee, M.Ed.

Investment Advisor Representative

Registered Representative

Slate, Disharoon, Parrish and Associates

9724 Kingston Pike #701

Knoxville, TN  37922

865-357-7370

www.richardbarbee.com

 

 

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Rainmaker
244,545
Highland Beach Condos David Serle
RE/MAX Services - Highland Beach, FL
Boca Raton Agent David Serle

Richard I agree networking is very important, but you have to have the right group of people.  I have been in the BNI and the NPI groups, and unless there is the right mix of people they tend to be more frustrating.  Anyway, good luck.

Oct 28, 2008 09:07 AM #1
Rainmaker
239,373
Vickie Slade
Colorado Landmark, Realtors - Boulder, CO
Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On

Richard, good advice.  I am one who is a little more anxious about networking, but I know it is necessary to be able to successfully build my business.  Thank you for the nudge.

Oct 28, 2008 09:15 AM #2
Rainer
146,688
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

Hello Richard,

Good advice and I will look into that book! Thank you!

All the Best,

Caren

Oct 28, 2008 09:51 AM #3
Rainmaker
98,910
Mark Eibner
Metro Brokers Realty Oasis - Littleton, CO
CRS, ePro,GRI

Networking is a great source of business and you are absolutely correct there is a big return on your investment. I've been involved with Toastmasters and have a broker associate under me that is very successful with his BNI group. We all have to remember it's a contact sport and however we choose to stay in front of people as long as we are doing it consistently it will eventually pay off.

Oct 28, 2008 10:02 AM #4
Ambassador
592,352
Konnie Mac McCarthy
MacNificent Properties, LLC - Cobb Island, MD
Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!"

I have heard that joining a bni group is a job in and of itself, you have to show up, and if you can't you have to find someone to fill in...is that true...

Oct 28, 2008 01:27 PM #5
Rainer
81,518
Katie Evans
Keller Williams - Greenville, NC

What is BNI?

Oct 30, 2008 03:20 AM #6
Rainer
20,292
Eric McGowan
Moody, AL

Richard, good points. I have joined rotary and participated in my first community service and action project last weekend.  Also, I am visiting a business networking group similar to BNI next Thursday. I had worked in a manner as an "in house loan officer" and where I had become accustomed to not looking for business but this past summer changed that drastically.

Nov 01, 2008 03:41 AM #7
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