Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
Secrets of Successful Networking
By Dave Block and Victoria Munro
is an art as well as a highly effective tool to grow
most any business. Anyone can become an effective
networker and enjoy the process, provided they’re
willing to invest a little time and energy. Just
showing up and hoping for the best won’t result
in success. Apply the Six
Secrets below and make networking work for
you and your business.
Secret #1: Keep an Upbeat Attitude
is critical. Failure to maintain a positive,
enthusiastic attitude towards networking is guaranteed
to diminish your success. Put yourself in a good frame
of mind by remembering that you
can learn and benefit from everyone you meet.
Focus on what you'll gain.
For example, you can:
to know potential power partners and people who
might be able to help your clients or who might
eventually become clients themselves.
from other people’s experiences as you listen
Secret #2: Go with a Game Plan
Wear something unique that stands out and makes it
easier for others to ask you questions and start a conversation.
Pins, custom nametags or embroidered logos can also
pique someone’s curiosity and beg a question.
Create meaningful conversational
starters. Instead of asking, “What do you
do?” when you meet new people, you could ask:
do you enjoy most about networking?
do you find most rewarding (or challenging) about
being a business owner?
are you passionate about?
Secret #3: Craft a Dynamic 30-Second
At most networking functions, you will be repeatedly
asked what you do. Respond with a commercial that is:
– don’t ramble
and caring – expressing genuine passion for
what you do
– causing people to ask more questions
Use strong visual language
– word pictures they’ll remember.
This will make it easier for them to refer you when
they meet someone who needs your products or services.
A friend who operates a pest control company gave the
same short message at his leads group each week. “If
it moves and you don’t want it to, call me!”
No one ever forgot what he did. A children’s portrait
photographer encourages potential clients to buy the
gift that she guarantees mom-in-law will never return.
Always focus on the benefits
Secret #4: Get a Great Business
Always carry an adequate supply
of business cards, and make sure that your card
truly reflects who you are and what you do. This may
be the only representation of you and your company you’ll
leave with someone. Hire an expert to create a card
that clearly, attractively and accurately portrays who
you are and what you offer. A creative tag line can
help explain even a complex concept and make it memorable.
Secret #5: Don’t Focus on
Plan to eat before arriving at an event. If that isn’t
possible, take care of your hunger first, then start
networking. Don’t try to mix the two. It’s
impossible to give someone your full attention while
balancing a plate and glass and digging in a purse or
pocket for a business card.
Secret #6: Make a Fabulous First
There are no second chances
at making a fabulous first impression!
Business is built on relationships, and you’re
there to start building new relationships, not to sell
your products or services. A
key to making a good first impression is ensuring that
the other person feels important, allowing him
or her to bask in the spotlight.
Apply the secrets above and develop the fine art of
networking to grow your business.
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Authors: Dave
Block and Victoria Munro are co-founders of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small business owners through creatively-designed programs
and tools. Dave is known as the “Master Networker”
in the business community and loves sharing how to become
a successful business owner by learning the art of networking.
Victoria has started and run nine different businesses..
To receive FREE business success articles with tips
to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning
ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at: www.Make-it-Fly.com,
and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get
More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics
You’re welcome to “reprint”
this article in your ezine, print publication
or on your website, as long as it remains complete and
unaltered (including the “about the author”
info at the end). Please send a copy of your reprint