The world is changing faster and faster all the time, and the way of doing business in it is too.
Seems like not long ago we did all of our business in person or on the phone. It was a big deal to network to meet new people. That was how you got your name out there. It’s also how you got referrals much of the time!
Facebook was awesome when they first created the business page. I was new in my Pink Zebra business, so I got a ton of exposure there because the business was new, as well as the platform for selling, so it really helped me launch my business.
Young adults running from us
I’m sure that’s not what was really happening, but it seemed that as soon as we adults got in to and comfortable with a platform, a new one popped up that the kids ran to. I’m sure they didn’t love seeing mom and dad on their social media! lol. Bottom line, just when we think this is it, another one comes along.
Expect the unexpected
Over this past year, a couple of times different platforms had glitches where no one could get to them for several hours at a time. It was crazy to see the panic everywhere. It was then that I realized a few things…
- The old saying about not putting all the eggs in one basket remains to be true.
- While we want to grow with the current trends (it’s actually pretty important to stay relevant and in front of people), it’s still a good idea to have other options.
- Email lists and networking are still important!
Here’s where networking groups come in. If you can find a group of business minded individuals that you can meet with, there are a lot of benefits to this.
- Trust among your group will develop and people buy and support people they trust.
- You’ll always have a support system. It’s a great place to share ideas, ask for feedback, and feel connected.
- Great opportunity to support your fellow business partners. It feels good knowing you are supporting others.
- Perfect place for referrals and to continue growing your business.
So when covid tried to shut us down, we came together on zoom calls and continued supporting one another. When social media glitched, there was no need to panic because we have our base of customers and other professionals and we can lean in to that.
Make your networking group work for you
This is the catch. It’s easy to join a group. The crucial part is really getting involved. Attend the meetings. Get to know people. Set up a coffee date so you can get to know members one-on-one.
Support other business members. This doesn’t mean you have to buy their product if it isn’t something you are interested in. You can do things like follow and comment on their social media pages. Perhaps you know someone that could benefit from their products! Give a referral! All of it is a form of support!
This is important. I’ve seen lots of people fail or fall out of grace when they come in to a networking group and make it all about them. I highly recommend you ask questions and get to know others before trying to sell to everyone. You’ll have your opportunity for your quick commercial at each meeting, so get to know others every chance you get!
And try to read the room. If you are talking a lot about your products and the person is staring with a glazed-over look, change the subject! Ask them a question about themselves! They may be trying to be polite, but it’s likely they have stopped listening and will avoid you the next time you enter the room.
Networking groups can be a lot of fun if you don’t go in with big expectations on selling. Go in with the intent to get to know people. To develop relationships. To enjoy one another. Great things will come from it!
Happy networking! XOXO