August 19, 2007

Business Networking: something we know we should do and is good for helping us grow our business!

Most people are terrified of going to a networking event where they don’t know people and have to “work” the room. It just isn’t a natural social skill for a lot of people. Relax! If you change your approach and attitude about the process it actually can be fun and yield great results!

We all have personal and professional “spheres of influence”. People we know from our business, social and personal lives that are untapped. People, who don’t necessarily know each other yet, but have commonality. Imagine bringing people together that you know from different circles that could create a very fun and positive environment for interaction and connecting.

It’s what I call “sphere-ing”. A sphere is an area of interest, specialty, field, and realm. Different people you know fall into different spheres. If we attempted to tap into this potential for business and social connecting, it could have a kind of “viral” effect. When you get good people together for the right purpose, amazing connections can happen.

Think about organizing a group based on commonality: music, travel, tennis, books, food, and business. Select a core group and ask them to bring one person. Have a purpose and a focus for the event, plan some activities during the event then let it flow. I have been to several of these kinds of gatherings without realizing that we were sphere-ing! I have made some warm connections that way and had a great time because it wasn’t the usual networking structure.

Networking is about contact and communication with like minded people to build mutually beneficial relationships. Networking is also about helping people in your sphere to make connections with others for mutual benefit. One of the most amazing benefits that can and does happen is forging life long friendships with people you meet through business or others in your sphere of influence.

You have about 7 seconds to make a good impression.
So, calm down and simply be appropriately attired, friendly, conversational, interested in others, share your passion and most important be yourself!

Here are some simple, easy suggestions for your next sphere-ing activity or event:

• Prepare a statement about yourself and your business
• Prepare your attitude, be positive
• Go with someone if you don’t know people
• Learn about others
• Exit conversations graciously
• Focus on quality contacts
• Follow up soon with the warmest leads
• Initiate the next contact, get together
• Plan and seek out your events for the month
• Be consistent and selective.

Be proactive in mobilizing your spheres of influence. Remember, when you bring good people together for the right reasons amazing connections can and do happen.

Author's Bio: 

Deborah Shane is the owner of Train with Shane, a motivational sales education, training and marketing consulting business. She provides customized training and event coordination to assist companies and individuals to maximize their sales efforts and brand exposure. She presents seminars and classes on topics related to motivation, sales, marketing and communication.
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