The 10 Commandments of Networking
Networking can be a tricky business, so you need to be focused as to what you want, and how committed you are to other people. We’ve created our 10 Commandments to business networking success. They might not be perfect for every business, but they are a good place to start.
1 Thou Shalt Not Sell to Me – Networking is not about direct selling. It is about building a relationship. if you work on this relationship then one day, when they need your services they will call on you. But for now concentrate on getting on board with each other.
2 Thou Shalt Understand the Law of Reciprocity – If someone comes forward to you with a referral, big or small, know that getting this has cost them time and effort and be prepared to start a similar conversation with one of your clients who could do with you networking partners services.
3 Thou Shalt Not Abuse Our Relationship – Not only does this not help, but it wastes your networking fellows time and effort in following it up. It’s easy to do but don’t do it. Just don’t.
4 Thou Shalt Not Be Late – If you’ve scheduled a meeting with a network partner you should do you need to be there, and be on time. Lateness is rude, and standing people up is even worse.
5 Thou Shalt Be Specific – Describe your target market and your skill set with laser sharp precision and you’ll get higher quality, more thoughtful referrals in return.
6 Thou Shalt Take Your Business Seriously – If you’re not putting 100% into your business how can you expect anyone else to take you seriously. You need to be taking yourself seriously. It’s not a hobby, it’s your business.
7 Thou Shalt Follow Up on Referrals – If someone has sent you a referral it is pure good manners to follow up in a timely manner. Why wouldn’t you?
8 Thou Shalt Communicate – Clear, open, honest, direct communication, that is the best way to build a relationship based referral network. If someone has sent you a bad referral talk to them – they might have missed your talk on what kind of work you do and who you target market is. If someone has annoyed your or upset you – it’s the same. Talk to them and get it sorted. A business referral network is no place for bad blood.
9 Thou Shalt Protect My Reputation – Giving someone a referral is like giving away part of your reputation. You need to behave like you would like anyone else to behave on business. Be professional, and understand that referral is based on trust and relationships. Don’t behave in a way which might jeopardize that trust or reflect badly on your networking fellows.
10 Thou Shalt Prepare for Success – If you’ve put in the hours, formed good relationships and have a professional attitude then business is going to come your way. Prepare for it.
Making the most of business networking can make or break a business so it is a really good idea to put a fair amount of time and effort into it. Each business is different so why don’t you have a look through these commandments and come up with your own? Always place the emphasis on professionalism, dedication, and reciprocity.
If you’re interested in coming down and being part of one of the most successful referral business networks in Pembrokeshire then why not come on down to one of our meetings? We meet every Tuesday at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. You can come and put your business networking skills to the test!