Improved Networking Through Education Generating Relationships Increases The Yield

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“Network Etiquette and How Etiquette Affects Business Referrals”

So, you have decided to grow your business. You want to take the business to the next level. You have heard that word of mouth advertising is the quickest, least expensive, most effective way to advertise your business. But, you ask yourself, ‘How do I get started? Where do I go to network? How do I get all that I can from organizations I join? How do I get involved with my new networking organization, maximize my referrals, and get better-qualified prospects? How much time do I need to spend networking? Which committee(s) should I join to meet my strategic allies?’ All these questions need answering as you get involved.
For the purpose of this article, we will forgo issues of picking the correct venue to reach your target market. Choosing the correct venue is covered in other articles. We believe that you have chosen the right organization to meet your referral and prospect goals.
We are all different in attaining our goals. Many of us want to jump right in, taking leadership roles, while others are more interested in taking a sideline role, watching the flow. Some people will evaluate the workings of an organization, taking the over flow. Other people are cheerleaders who will serve the team in supporting roles. The purpose of this article is to give you an approach to get referrals and prospects as quickly as possible, maintaining total control, and not getting over committed.
How to maintain control, not get over committed, and get referrals and prospects.
Attend meetings regularly. Find organizations or committees within organizations that meet with a frequency that appeals to your schedule. Too often people get so involved with committees that they do not leave time to transact business. Or they take on responsibilities as a “volunteer” finding that they do not really have time? to deliver. Not following through as a volunteer is one of the worst mistakes a person networking can make. When we commit to something in our business or as a committee member, we send a huge message when following through. Following through, in business or as a volunteer, tells us you are a committed to what responsibilities you assume. For that reason, we suggest you take this new responsibility slow. Do not rush into anything. Be purposeful in your commitments.
Listen for at least 30 days before taking committee responsibilities. Ask questions. Listen for understanding. Know into what you are getting involved. Once you are in, members will expect you to follow through. The upside of listening for 30 days is if for some reason you decide not to get fully involved, you can leave gracefully. This also allows you to look at other groups to see where you might best fit yourself and your business. There is no shame in leaving an organization before you commit.  If you commit, then do not produce, you will find this kind of news travels faster than wild fire.
Be a giver. Many people join organizations to ‘get.’ Find a successful chamber of commerce or referral organization and you find members who love to give. Remember that it costs nothing to give a referral. You have three resources: your time, your energy and, your money. Give your time and energy. They will pay you huge dividends.
Stick with the plan. Once you have chosen an organization as a marketing arm of your business, stay with the organization. Nothing worth building happens quickly. Expect to spend years building your prospect and referral business. If networking your business was a quick fix, everyone would do it. We are speaking about building relationships. Relationships will lead us to more sales. More referral sales will lead to more referral sales. Now our target markets are led to our door. You become an order taker, providing service to your target market, rather than a sales person, convincing someone that your product is the right product to buy.
Finally, a solid commitment to these principles will lead you to networking etiquette success. It is your choice. In many cases, we are talking about life changing attitudes. You will find your life will change when getting involved in an area that you have no experience. It is scary. Take the first step. Remember the definition of insanity: “Doing the same things the same way you have always done them, expecting different results.” Follow a slow, purposeful plan and you will be successful.
Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA. He works with realtors who want to attract the right prospects and their affinity partners who want to generate more referrals. More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.
Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability. Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.
His books, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, 101 Tips to Attract Prospects, 101 Tips to Generate Referrals and Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Giving Your Clients What They WANT, So You Get What You WANT are currently available. Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Using Your Time, Energy, and Creativity to Create Value, will be available in 2006.
Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses. He is a networking dynamo. Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together’which is why he started Integrity.
Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is an Accomplished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.
Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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