A NEW JERSEY BUSINESS INSIDER’S REPORT ON NETWORKING
One Size Doesn’t Fit All:
A while ago I wrote a blog about how some businesses require significant networking and some require no networking. If you started or purchased a business that requires extensive networking, what is the best way to go about it in a way that will bring results.
Here’s What You Really Should Know About Networking:
The objective of networking is to get referrals from people who are in a position to provide them. In order to get referrals, three things must be in play in the mind of the referrer. First, as obvious as it seems, the referrer must like you. People seldom refer business to people who they do not like. Second, the referrer must feel that your performance will reflect favorably upon him or her. If you do a lousy job, it will get back to the referrer. Finally, the referrer must be confident that he or she will receive referrals from you; that is, there will be reciprocity.
How You Can Benefit:
It is advisable to network with people who are “on your level”. For example, if you are new in business, someone who is successful and well established is probably not going to provide you with significant referrals. The second and third points made above are not in play: you are untried and unproven, and you are not in a position to reciprocate in a serious way.
Are You a Needy Networker?
The best and fastest way to fail at networking is to project an image of being needy. Projecting an image of neediness suggests that you lack competence as well as the ability to reciprocate.
To succeed at networking, you should network with people who are in related businesses and professions. For example, lawyers and accountants are excellent sources of business for each other; likewise, insurance agents are in a position to make referrals to both lawyers and accountants. Similarly, if you are an architect, engineers and contractors are in an excellent position to refer business to you.
Concluding Advice: You’re Always “On”:
One of the keys to successful networking is never to be “off duty”. Where ever you are, regardless of the time of day, always have your business card in an easy to reach place. And always be ready to present your business.
Good luck and may many referrals come your way.
About New Jersey Business Broker Brad Palmer:
Brad Palmer is Managing Member of Crown Business Brokers, LLC, and an experienced New York / New Jersey business broker as well as a Certified Public Accountant. His education includes a B.A. from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA., as well as an M.B.A. in finance from Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.