Today’s economy offers us many challenges especially if we’re looking for a new job, trying to sell a home or wanting to obtain fresh business. Speaking of new business, there are some very good ways for you to network, proven and smart strategies designed to help you win new customers, the backbone of every successful business.
1. Face to face — Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites are all the rage, but they can keep you from doing what still works: meeting with potential customers face to face. Nothing may be better for your business than going to a meeting, attending a conference or hanging out in places where business people congregate. Offer a smile, extend your hand and converse with people who you may soon get to know as your customers.
2. Know your needs — What are your reasons for networking? Sure, getting new customers is a noble quest, but what exactly are you looking for? Your time is limited, so don’t hang out at events where people who aren’t potential customers are absent from.
3. Be genuine — Savvy business people can spot a phony as easy as they can spot a three dollar bill. Be honest, friendly, helpful and caring as you meet with people. Some customers will require you to become a friend if you are to do business with them.
4. Be inquisitive — There is a difference between being inquisitive and being nosy. When I learn what they are I’ll share that information with you! Seriously, one way to learn about people is find out who they are, what they do, where they work, why they are at the same meetings you are and who sent them.
5. Show your resourcefulness — Are you an expert in your field? Use your expertise to positively influence your colleagues. Offer advice through your blog, speak at conferences, volunteer through organizations — simply showing your helpfulness will make a name for yourself and let people know that you care.
6. Follow through — Too many people get names and numbers, but fail to follow through to the next step. Make those calls, send an email, write a note and make sure that you remember people by name the next time you meet up.
7. Create opportunities — Once you meet with people and follow through, take your networking up a notch. Collaborate on projects, offer your services to them and ask to be introduced to their circle of associates, friends and peers. Employ the LinkedIn strategy of connecting with people who can connect you with other people. The more viable contacts you have, the more likely you’ll find new customers.
A tough economy is no excuse to back down. Instead, use a variety of strategies to help find new customers while keeping your current client base happy.
Adv. — It is not too early to prepare for the holidays. The nBuy Shopping Plaza is an online discount shopping mall with more than 5,000 retailers who are interested in competing for your business.
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