One of the most worthwhile and beneficial things any entrepreneur can do is leverage networking. Military Combat Veteran and CMO of Internet Marketing Inc., Brent Gleeson explains that without networking, his first company with Brandon Fishman wouldn’t be where it is today. It was the relationships they built, the positive influences they surrounded themselves with and the time they spent nurturing their connections provided them opportunities to meet the right people. Building relationships is the number one most important element when it comes to networking.
People do business with those they like and trust. When our friends and family refer a product or service, we listen. We hold a personal referral high above any review or recommendation from someone we don’t know. This is why networking events are so important. It is your opportunity to cultivate relationships and develop a professional rapport that will get stronger over time, eventually leading to a mutually beneficial partnership. Brent expresses that it is valuable for entrepreneurs to attend these events and learn from more experienced entrepreneurs and build useful contacts.
Networking is not about what others can do for you, it is about finding out what you can do for someone else. A good example of this is volunteering your time to speak at events, mentoring a fellow entrepreneur or providing your services to help someone in need. You never know how these small acts of kindness and unselfishness will positively affect you in the long run. Personal relationships help you and your organization stand out. It is the repeated contact that helps develop relationships, especially when you have a common goal. Remember, friends, family, friends of friends, vendors and co-workers are all part of your network so make sure to build positive relationships and continue to foster the relationships you already have. The best referral come from someone in your network. Who are you going to reach out to today?