When I asked Brad Burton, founder of the 4networking business relationship company, for some tips on how to get the most out of networking, I knew I’d asked the right man!
As well as establishing the business, Brad is also an avid networker himself, and attends many of the 4networking events around the country, so he’s seen it all – the overeager, nervous types; the desperate salesperson; the business card distribution machine.
So what are Brad’s golden nuggets?
“There are three things that make the difference when you’re networking. And just the act of knowing them means that you’ll act differently and feel more confident.
Firstly, don’t look to win clients, look to win trust.
People buy from people, before they buy products.
Get the people bit right, the business will follow.”
Thinking in such a long-term way might seem like a painful process for your business, but the entrepreneur knows that enduring relationships are built on something more substantial than 30-seconds of flurried business card exchange.
And the people you meet may never buy from you. Ever. Which is no bad thing. Because they may be the intermediary that brings your name in front of others who will. And the recommendation that accompanies such a referral is potentially worth pocketfuls of real folding money, because this intermediary is known and respected by your ultimate prospect.
So never turn down a serious opportunity to network if you’re serious about building your sales. Because the ultimate outcome could be worth a hundred times more than a simple sales transaction. And the networks you build provide foundation and strength for the real entrepreneur.