Networking is an essential part of doing business. Although most working people have heard the term networking before, not all business-minded people truly understand the importance that growing a professional network has on potential opportunities for business growth. Whether you are in the process of starting a business, looking for ways to innovate, or even searching for top talent, growing your professional network is always a good idea. Building a reputation, creating a supportive network, and ensuring that your business and your services are being noticed amongst not only your peers, but also your prospective clients, are essential to successful networking. One thing to always remember when networking is that it will not always be the person whom you meet who will be the one who creates opportunities, which is why first impressions are key to building your professional network.
What does a professional network look like, you ask?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to the professional relationships that can grow your business. In fact, cross-industrial relationships have been proven to be very helpful. You see, people like to do business with people whom they know, whom they like, and whom they can trust to refer to their own clients. But what you need to know when it comes to networking and building relationships is that regardless of any personal feeling that the individuals have toward one another, the relationship must always be mutually beneficial to each person’s business goals. According to Entreprenuer.com, networking is not about getting people to know you, it is about making the other party feel like you are getting to know them. People want to feel important, prioritized, and know that your values align before making any sort of business arrangement or referring your services to a client.
How Marketsmith incorporates networking into our business strategy.
Last week, two members of the Marketsmith team attended the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Business Summit and Expo in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where they had the opportunity to network with 800+ senior executives from around the Garden State. Not only did they make new business contacts, but they also were able to connect with some of our current clients to show them that we are always present, noticeable, and work to make connections for not only ourselves, but for our clients, with the right people.
While the ultimate goal is always to come out of a large conference with a new client(s), rather than diving into a full sales pitch with other businesses, we approached this event with the goal of understanding the needs of other businesses and brands from around New Jersey. By doing so, we now have the tools that we need to tactically approach these new relationships with a mutually beneficial offering. We start by dissecting and discussing each conversation, nurturing relationships with organizations that best align with our organizational values, and ultimately create a long-term strategic plan on how we can grow together. Networking to build relationships and reputation can establish your business as a reliable, supportive, considerate, and knowledgeable industry professional, which can attract prospects to your team of subject matter experts and their opinions as they relate to their business needs and growth goals.
Maintaining your network is just as important as creating it, and professional relationships are just like personal ones — if you do not put in effort, they will fail. Plus, when a professional friend is looking for recommendations from someone else in their network for industry-specific services, you always want to be the first business that comes to their mind. As we look to build our professional network and are always seeking innovative ways to grow our business, Marketsmith is committed to attending a minimum of two networking events per month. This way, we are always present, and we have the opportunity to reconnect with industry-wide colleagues, and of course, meet new people.
Looking to connect?
Want to know more about growing a professional network? Start by talking to us. We love connecting with like-minded business professionals who are continuously looking for new and creative ways to grow together. “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye