Business Networking for Network Marketers

I have been attending business to business networking events since 2009 and I have met many other network marketers at my meetings over the years.  Some who totally get business networking and others who you can see just don’t get it.

In fact, when I started networking back them I wasn’t a network marketer myself, I was promoting my bookkeeping and IT business Silicon Bullet. I met a Forever Living distributor and tried their products and fell in love with them so decided to join.  Then I learned about the business behind the products.  It’s a slow conversion but a comfortable one, and I am proof that Business to Business networking works for a Network Marketer.

Don’t go in for the hard sell

We are often taught in Network Marketing to introduce the opportunity to everyone we meet, get names on our who do you know list, and it’s a numbers game, to get people to attend our presentations so they can then make an informed decision about if the opportunity is for them.

Business networking though is different.  People do not necessarily attend networking groups to buy. Everyone is there with their own business and won’t take kindly to a hard sell, or to an invitation to a coffee or ‘one to one’ where you whip out your presentation if they have not expressed an interest in your company previously.  Don’t meet people and be the one to do all the talking.  You will make a far better impression if you are the one doing the listening.

How can you make  Networking work for you if you are a Network Marketer?

  • Go with the mindset of getting to know the people in the room.  Listen to them and see how you can help them.
  • Take your products along and talk about the benefits of using them, but don’t take too much, focus on one thing at a time.  Have samples for people to try, taste or rub on, whatever is appropriate.
  • If it’s possible, get involved with running the meetings. I now attend 4 Networking where the meetings are run by members who take on a team role.  It increases your visibility in the group and enables you to show off your organisational or other skills to members.  It also brings you closer to the other team members at the meetings.
  • Try and do something memorable in your 40 second or one minute pitch (I quite often sing as that’s my hobby).
  • Be a product of your products and a shining example of your company.
  • If the networking group allows it – offer to give a talk about something related to your business or an area you are knowledgeable about.

Meeting 4 Sight photo Aly MK Lunch

Don’t give up !

Give it time.  Don’t expect quick results.  I was attending a group for over 6 months before I started to get any sales.

If you follow these simple tips you are bound to make connections with people who will become your customers first and may go on to be team members later, or who might refer people to you who could join your team.  When you start to make sales then always ask for recommendations within the networking community to use in your social media.

When I think back to the lady I met all those years ago who did Forever Living at my first networking group, I think at least 50% of the people in the room are now her customers or team members so I can see from example how it really works.

4 Networking

I joined 4 Networking in 2017 and quickly joined a team to help run the local meetings.  In 2018 I was promoted to being a Regional Leader for the network, overseeing a number of meetings in my local area.

If you would like to find out more about this business networking organisation, which prides itself on it’s relaxed but still business-like meetings then do get in touch I can share the details of local meetings.  You can take a look at the 4 Networking Website yourself to see where the nearest meetings are to you, they are spread all over the UK, but not yet available in other countries.

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Making Networking Work – Givers Gain

Some people get networking and some people don’t.  If you arrive at the meetings with the wrong mind set and attitude then you won’t get anything out of it.  You will leave thinking this networking group is rubbish, I didn’t get any business.

The first thing to need to do when you arrive at a networking group is think about why you are there.  Are you there to spend money and buy products and services?  No? If not – then why would you expect anyone else in the room to be any different to you?

If you arrive thinking I must tell people about the wonderful services I offer because I need to sell sell sell to the room, then you will most likely go away disappointed. You need to change your own mindset first in order to make the most from a business networking environment.

MK Lunch Nov 2017 OPen networking

 

Networking is about making connections. The clue is in the name!  You are building a network of contacts.  Linking with people from many different business backgrounds and really getting to know them which is the first step in a longer relationship which will in all likelihood lead further down the line to useful referrals and more business.

Recently I joined a different networking group, 4N.  Their Mantra is Meet – Like – Know – Trust.  These 4 steps take time, dedication, regular attendance and actually showing an interest in the people you meet, and in my 6 months in 4N I have seen first hand how this change in mindset really works.

Towcester Lunch 2017 Duncan Brad

If you take the time to really get to know the people in the room, see how you can help them, connect to them outside of meetings on social media channels then the old mantra of givers gain comes into play.  Imagine if everyone in this room had this attitude then you will find you will be on the receiving end of others generosity just as you give to others.

MK Lunch Squats November 2017

Thank you to 4N Member David D’Souza Photography for allowing me to use his pictures from 4N Towcester Lunch and 4N Milton Keynes Lunch.

If you would like to learn more about 4 Networking then do get in touch and you can come and visit one of my meetings in Olney, Towcester or Milton Keynes.