Is your net worth directly proportionate to the extent of your networks? Experts agree that the most connected people are often the most successful. Research demonstrates the harder you work the luckier you get and part of the sweat equity is positioning yourself at the right place, at the right time and in front of the right people. This can be daunting and time consuming, however pay you back in dividends.
Networking does not need to be awkward – think of it as making acquaintances and building long-term relationships as well as a good reputation over time. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to networking.
Different people are successful using different networking tactics. Regardless, the power of a strong professional network provides an engaging give and take dynamic with the emphasis on fostering business connections and strengthening industry rapport with colleagues. Sounds simple enough, however the reality is that it doesn’t come naturally to many people and they struggle with reciprocating contacts and sharing innovative ideas with others – however it is critical to grow your business.
The most effective way to strengthen your market offering and visibility is to create value for others by offering your knowledge, insights and expertise. To achieve this, the first question on your mind should be how can I assist this person?
Coraggio Member Andrew Winning and Director of NEXUS Projex, leverages his extensive industry knowledge of fit out, refurbishment and construction services and shares,
“The first major rule of networking is understanding that other people don’t exist just to serve your purposes. You need to build up some social capital before you start asking for favours. Trying to gain something before giving anything is like trying to make a withdrawal from an empty bank account. Cultivate relationships before you need them – the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. It’s never too early or too late to invest in your network.”
Coraggio shares six tips regarding how to source access to new and valuable information through interconnected contacts.
Build a strong, responsive & resilient network
In today’s interconnected world, it has become more important than ever to maintain a strong, robust network of business connections for you and your company. Position yourself with a couple of concise key messages highlighting your unique market offering, engaging with potential prospects without an agenda.
It’s less about meeting people in person or online and more about knowing people
Meaningful connections are more likely to reap rewards towards developing fulfilling and responsive networks, therefore always converse applying social etiquette and with the intent on how you may add-value towards their goals. Forge bonds with people with the genuine view of collaborating and assisting each other. In essence, ditch the sales pitch for an informal, authentic and memorable exchange, as opposed to a hard sell.
Whilst there’s no substitute for traditional networking due to the benefits of personal human interaction, online also works because you can build larger networks aligned to your business than ever before ….. day or night.
Leverage what’s out there and improve your creative intellect
There’s numerous industry associations providing opportunities to leverage existing formal business events and informal networking gatherings to engage with opinion leaders and maintain a pulse on industry trends and shifts. On a daily basis we are caught up in our professional realm, we may not identify roadblocks and how to circumvent – fresh insights from one connection at a workshop, seminar, symposium or conference may develop into a game-changer!
Become known as a resource for others
You may have heard the term Give Give Get. When you develop a reputation for being renowned as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas and industry introductions which enhances your industry visibility. To be memorable and maintain top-of-mind-awareness following an introduction, develop a clear understanding of what you do and a concise recognition regarding why you do it – articulate a genuine and passionate Elevator Pitch.
Coraggio’s, CEO, Richard Skarzynski cites,
“An informal and genuine exchange will forge meaningful bonds and sow the seeds of reciprocal exchange of knowledge and expertise. I witness this every week at Coraggio’s national Member networking events and keynote speaker presentations.
Effective networkers use their networking skills throughout their life by nourishing fulfilling relationships and capitalise on connections ensuring they become a person of interest and a relevant resource in their mind.”
Maintain genuine relationships in person and on-line
Developing a new contact is not the end goal, however just the beginning. A new connection needs to be nourished by staying in touch. Technology has accelerated networking and reduced the degree of separation between contacts.
Connect with people on social media, message them at regular intervals, send interesting and relevant information/links, endorse on-line, inviting them to an event or coffee, share a milestone, congratulate a “win”, acknowledge a work anniversary and, if appropriate, a personal achievement, builds authentic, sustainable relations.
If a new connection has been established online more effort needs to be invested towards integrating the relationship through regular communication, due to the lack of initial personal interaction.
Finally, stop selling and start listening! Be a conversationalist, not a talker and focus on building mutual trust. By focussing on your passion and aligning your networking around your values and belief systems, this will inherently facilitate the kind of mutually-beneficial, cohesive relationships required to support your business vision and personal growth.
Tell your story — not the story you think everyone wants to hear. Afterall, there is nothing more important in life than knowing yourself!
|Smiling with only mouth||Insincerity or submission to pressure|
|Playing with your thumbs (or keeping them in your pockets)||Sign of dominance, superiority, leadership|
|Touching yourself while talking||Anxiety|
|Sudden slowing down of speaking||Telling lies|
|Covering your mouth||Supressed desire to ask something or attempt to not say too much|
|Rubbing palms against each other||Hope for success|
|Hands in pockets||Attempt to look confident, “Convince me”, or sign of withdrawal|
|Standing with legs widely positioned||Using the space to establish your leadership.|
What is Coraggio?
Being a business owner can be challenging and may include facing unchartered territory. However, it doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. Making the right decisions for your business deserves more than the occasional conversation with a mate. It deserves to aggregate the experience and a shared knowledge of collective awareness from fellow executives.
Operating a company typically presents complex issues, sometimes on a daily basis. Imagine if you could leverage the experience from an extensive group of industry peers to improve your decision-making and future proof a sustainable business, whilst being held accountable?
Also imagine if you gained the peace of mind to seamlessly access these answers and navigate business challenges, simply by connecting with entrepreneurs and gaining knowledge from business leaders? This is the strength of peer to peer leadership mentoring and impactful, meaningful networking.
Coraggio offers a mutual exchange of expertise, ideas and a support system enabling you to capitalise on a give-and-take dynamic amongst advisors who have walked the path before, mitigating risk to your business.
Leading business owners and entrepreneurs join Coraggio to become part of a highly effective business community facilitating leadership, guaranteeing accountability and sharing innovative ideas within a cohesive and confidential national network.
This mutual exchange of Member’s expertise tangibly results in sustainable revenue streams, increased cash reserves and productive outcomes to future proof your business.
Coraggio Chairs are industry leaders, Members are forward-thinking advisors and all Advisory Boards are dedicated to the ongoing success of their fellow Member’s businesses, offering Fearless Objective Advice – that’s the Coraggion Spirit!
Afterall, in the words of Henry Ford
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”.
Would you like to be a part of this?
Want to be an integral member of a confidential group of business owners sharing their insights and experiences for the benefit of your business? Imagine how your business would benefit and grow from connecting with a broader community consisting of more than 400 high performing and driven business owners!
Explore membership today! Find out how our proven program can help you build a better business and become a better leader.