When we’re busy running our businesses, we hardly think we have the time to build relationships with other businesspeople. But the truth is that your success really is dependent not only who you know but who knows you. The connections we build with others are ultimately what drives our ever-changing realm of opportunity.
Networking is about making connections that lead to enduring and mutually beneficial relationships. There are many networking groups and resources out there established for the sole purpose of cultivating these connections. Whether it be your local chamber chapter, a prestigious international networking group such as BNI, or just a virtual network like LinkedIn, there are many chances to begin reaching out to other businesspeople.
When we build these relationships with other businesspeople, we’re giving these other people a unique position in their minds. We become more than just “that guy who runs the carpeting and floors business”; we become “Brian, that guy who runs the carpeting and floor business with the wife and three kids and heck of a golf record.” When you’re associated with more than just a business in someone’s mind, when more of your personality is remembered by others, then your business begins to stand out. We rise and remain at the top of mind.
Networking also makes doing business much more friendly. When you know and like the person you’re doing business with, you’re much happier to do it. People do business with those they like and trust. The more people who know not just your business, but you, the more your referrals you will get. You want to be on people’s minds — that’s where REAL advertising takes place.
So, make sure you get out there and communicate with businesspeople in your communities. And if you personally don’t have the time to get out there and network, send someone to do it for you. Get someone out there who will be a good face for your business. The more relationships you build, the more opportunities for success you will have.