Business networking for CEO is one of the most effective marketing and prospecting method you can use to grow your business. But if done incorrectly, it can be harmful to your business.
Business networking is a lot more than giving out business cards. It is about building trust. For CEO the networking is a lot more than meeting people. It is about connecting with the right people.
Business networking is a lot more than collecting phone numbers. It is about staying in touch, about listening, addressing needs and looking for opportunities all at the same time.
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It is how as a CEO we approach relevant business networking sessions that makes it work for us. Networking is about being authentic and genuine, building relationships and trust, and helping others. Although increased sales is the end goal, don’t participate in business networking to sell.
Build relationships and sales will follow naturally. People have to trust you before they’ll do business with you or refer you. Relationship capital is an immensely valuable part of business success. Put your energy, intention and attention on business networking.
Looking to start your own business to work from home?
Do you have the personality to lead or sell to others?
My name is Chaia Lewis and I'm an internet marketer with crucial information to help you answer that question. I'm going to discuss the basics of personalities, successful personality traits, and how to attain those traits.
Most advice will tell you to identify your personality and then pick your network marketing business. It's suggested that an outgoing and magnetic person will do well in Multi Level Marketing (MLM). Or if you are shy and uncomfortable selling to others, internet marketing is a better choice. And that's not bad advice, but realistically, personalities are considerably more flawed and multi-dimensional.
I have spent time with some of the most successful network marketers in the world today, and in trying to answer the above question, I came across a completely different concept. Before I reveal it, take a look at some of my personality traits I started with:
-I hated talking on the phone and all social media
-I always talked over people, and if I appeared to be listening, I was probably daydreaming or about to interrupt
-Easily distracted, struggling with efficiency and time management everyday
-Cared too much about the opinions of others
-Habitually skipped work and spent money I didn't have, i.e. completely irresponsible
-If you put me in front of too many people or a video camera, a twitchy girl would appear who apparently favored the words "um" and "like"
-I was no leader. I'd rather stay under the radar at work, which, by the way, was serving tables in a restaurant for a total of ten years because that's how much I preferred the path of least resistance.
All the advice suggested that this industry was not for me. Before you take similar advice, let's take a closer look at what a personality is. It's a set of your characteristics which endure over a long period of time. But can anything be considered permanent? The reality is, most traits in our personalities are derived from a combination of past experiences, present circumstances, and perhaps most importantly,the other personalities we surround ourselves with. For example, have you ever spent time with someone who inspired you to be more than you are? If I had the opportunity to spend a day with Steven Jobs, I guarantee the personality traits above would not be coming with me. Our personalities are also a product of what we read and watch on TV; therefore, I sold $500 worth of drama from my bookcase. As it turns out, tweaking your personality is easier than you might think when you change your environment, your influences, and your circle.
I am not, however, proposing these changes will transform you into a completely different, charming person - that's not the objective. For example, before I had access to this information, I exhausted myself looking for a business opportunity suited for me and all my flaws. And ultimately, I made my decision based on one person-one personality. He was clearly not the charismatic salesman I expected, but I could relate to this quirky character. Formally a high school dropout, his company now has members in over 200 countries. Do you see how being relatable is better than being charismatic? Are there not more socially challenged people in the world rather than smooth talkers? Eventually, as I became acquainted with my new circle, I realized the personalities of every leader were all over the spectrum with only a few common success-related traits. With such different backgrounds, how did they all end up with certain values and traits that weren't there before?
I assure you it didn't happen naturally, and it's not an easy task. In fact, the vast majority will never undergo such a change. Remember, the vast majorities don't have the income and lifestyle you are pursuing. Whether you realize it or not, if you have read this far, you most likely have these traits already. Regardless, they will lie dormant your entire life without provocation. With that in mind, the traits every successful leader acquired are as follows:
-They are committed to a process. I suggest copying the exact process of a leader you aspire to be. You cannot do better! They are consistent in that process even before they see results, because it's an educational process as well. And successful entrepreneurs are always students.
-They believe in doing the right thing. It's not about the quickest result. Help others and you will see your bank account grow, because most success achieved at the expense of another is short-lived.
-They are persistent and take charge. If you treat your business like a hobby, you will only get paid for a hobby. Take daily action as if there were a $50,000 check waiting for you upon completion.
-They are optimistic. They look for the best in everything. It's not a question of whether obstacles will come, but how many in a day. Learn to handle them.
These qualities will absolutely make you wealthy in more ways than one. However, can you incorporate them into your personality? Earlier I mentioned I had come across a different concept in spending time with successful marketers. I have not yet covered that. The reality is, you will find it impossible to attain those traits without this next key, as countless entrepreneurs have already tried with no success.
Every successful leader with the lifestyle and income that I desired had a crystal clear grasp on their Why.
It's the only way they were able to transform their personalities to achieve the desired result in their home business. This is an ancient concept, unfortunately forgotten or underestimated, and it significantly reduces failures when implemented. I elaborated on this in a separate article discussing exactly what Why is, how to discover yours, and how to use it in your business. You will find it on my authors page titled Home Business Network Marketing Success-One Key Difference Between You and Wealthy Marketers.
In short, the answer to your original question is...if it's a problem, change your personality. First, by identifying your Why. It will give you the strength to get out of your element and do something you have never done before so that you can see results you have never seen before. Look at what you surround yourself with: TV, books, music, friends, coworkers, etc. Recognize the outside elements that shape who you are, evaluate, and act accordingly.
Hopefully you now realize your personality doesn't have to be an issue, so start researching, and chose a business that will take you the direction you want to go.
Identify which networking events you should attend. Pick groups that’ll help you achieve your goals. Find venues that make sense for your business. When you register for an event, schedule it like a meeting.
Determine how often you should be networking. How many times in a week, month, or quarter? Visit as many groups as possible.
Attend events with a plan and always try to learn something new. Prepare yourself for the event. Develop open-ended questions to ignite a conversation. Bring business cards but don’t give your business card to everyone you meet. Give cards to those who ask you for it. Try to sit with strangers. Don’t forget to mingle.
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Keep track of people you meet. Keep in touch with them and deepen your emotional connection. Establish a mutual beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients/ customers. Meet with the group members individually so you get to know them better and try to build quality connections. Consider other group members as resources. focus on the group; listen and think about how you can help them. Focus on giving. Build trust within the group.
Let's talk about inviting people to your business events in this article. The tips that I am going to share later applies to not only business related events but also normal events as well.
If you have tried inviting people to come for your business events be it networking or talks, you will agree with me that it is not easy to get the numbers especially if you are inviting business man and women because they prioritize almost all events according to ROI (Return On Investment) - if your event does not justify their time to be there, then most probably you will have a poor turnout.
Based on my experiences and observations from the other very experienced networkers in my business circle, I realize that there are only three things that you need to do it probably in order to have a high turn-up rate for your events.
1. Is this what they need?
I do not invite every person I meet to my business events such as BNI. If the first thing you meet someone new is to ask him / her to come to your event, then this is something that you may want to stop and re-think on.
Listening is by far the most important skill we need to learn and refine (not only for business). Thus, the first thing before we even start inviting is to ask relevant questions. For example, if you are holding an event for Internet Entrepreneurs to come together and network, you need to ask and assess if the person you are talking to has this area of interest.
A good question you can start off is, 'Have you been to other business networking events?'. This question not only help you understand them better but also make them reveal if they think they needed such exposure. You will be surprised that some business owners will answer this question admitting that they should go around networking more often! Now, do you think if you invite them to your event at this point of time, the person will be far more receptive and appreciate your invitation?
2. Persistent - the additional effort that makes the difference
A lot of invitations I receive nowadays rarely exceeds more than 3 times. If you are holding an event that happens regularly (for example, monthly), you must be persistent and keep inviting no less than 7 times. Most of the times, people are kind enough to tell you that they have other commitments and couldn't attend your event. If this is the case, invite them again when your next event is coming up. This kind of followup is the key that makes the difference.
I remembered I was inviting a business associate of mine who has rejected me no less than 5 to 10 times (I lost count...) because of his usual morning commitments. One day he finally make it to my BNI (Business Network International) event and thank me for inviting him to attend such an eye-opening event. I think sometimes we just have to be persistent especially if you see that your event adds value to the others.
3. Reminders - the secret to 100% turnouts
I never know that a simple reminder can make such a big difference until I came across a material by Dr. Ivan Misner who mentions that reminders are important and we should remind the people who have agreed to come for our events one or two days before the event.
It can be frustrating sometimes if you see that the person you have invited did not turn up in the end just because they forgot. Hence, a simple reminder either through phone or SMS can be very helpful. At the time of posting, there are already systems in place to send out automated reminders to people who have registered for events. One company that can help you to leverage this technology is FlexiSoft - managed by Norman Chin from BNI Singapore, Raffles Chapter.
Do not expect to receive benefits right away. Do volunteering work for network groups to stay visible and give back. As a responsible CEO you must show up regularly and on time, show others how you deal with business meetings and associates. Give quality referrals and leads. If someone gives you a referral, follow up on it in a timely manner. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. Take a referral seriously.
Don’t spam on social networks. Use the platforms designed for CEO to build relationships and expand your network.
Limit self-promotion. Don’t sell. Build relationships. Be as helpful as you can. Share relevant information with others as people love to learn new things. Participate in discussions. Let others know you’re real. Be approachable. Treat your online connections just as valuable as your offline connections.