Networking was the single activity outside of marketing that blew doors open, brought us new clients, and increased our influence as well as our bottom line. We went to all kinds of networking events and we learned that none are better than others. All work, it is just that some work differently from others. In meetings where only four people showed up we wrote two major sales. At beer and wings events we met many people and they were added to our vortex immediately by connecting with them on LinkedIn. We began to love weekly referral meetings and learned to engage the whole group to become our own sales force. It was enjoyable and it was fruitful. It was a powerful tool when we met people online and then met them at a networking meeting and then again at a coffee shop.
Marketing Or Networking?
I am always baffled by those who ask me if they should spend their money on marketing or networking? That is like saying should I drink liquids or breath? Both are essential to life. I can't imagine trying to hang onto one while forsaking the other! Why would you choose?
Marketing must happen. It is the support behind the scenes for all other sales efforts. These days people look you up on Google so you better be there and be there a lot! Marketing produces all of the things that people see when you meet them through networking. What they find out about you online may determine why they decide to do business with you and it is the basis by which they compare you to your competitors. However, you can't make sales if you don't know anyone. Who you know is important. How well they know you is important. How they feel about you is important.
Networking Is About Relationships