How to develop a business network

Developing a “five star” business network is not as hard as it seems. People say that to develop a powerful network requires years of hard work. However, all it requires is three things: knowledge of who you would like to develop a connection with, your purpose for connecting and knowledge of the value you can bring to his/her career and also your follow-up. The first element to building a business network is to to have a knowledge of who you want to connect with. This may sound obvious but he key element in preventing you from building a business network is confusion over which type of connection you are trying to make. If for example, you want to find a mentor for your civil engineering business you would not network with mechanical engineers. The second element to building a business network is to know the purpose of connecting. In order to get the most value from your business network, you need to know why you are connecting. Are you looking to improve your knowledge of your supply chain? Do you want to find someone with sales expertise for your business? The third element you need to consider in developing your business network is to consider what value you can bring you to your potential connection . Do you have a unique viewpoint on social media or message that you can share? You are less likely to be able to build a “five star” business network if you do not have a ‘massive transformation’ you can bring to someone’s network. The final element you need to consider in developing a five-star business network is your follow-up. To maintain a high quality network of individuals interested in your success, you needs to follow-up and have a buy-in and have a commitment to their success as well.

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  • Darrell says:

    It seems very good that how you have developed the 5-star business network to an extinct level. Today, successful business development is contingent upon building trusted relationships and leveraging those relationships to meet new prospects.

  • Ashton says:

    Today, successful business development is contingent upon building trusted relationships and leveraging those relationships to meet new prospects. These relationships form the backbone of your business network. It is vital that you continuously grow and nurture these relationships, as a large percentage of your business growth will come from your business network.

    Here are five ways to build and leverage your business network to grow your business.

    1. Always Seek Referrals
    Your customers almost certainly know colleagues like themselves who need your product or service. It is perfectly acceptable to ask them for a referral and request permission to use their name for an introduction. With a referred contact in hand and a trusted customer as back up, you can then make your telephone call or send an email to gain an introduction. Once your prospect hears or sees the name of his or her colleague, you will have a much greater chance of success in your introductory contact.

    2. Use Testimonials
    Your customers are your most important advocates. Ask them if they would be willing to provide a testimonial about your product or service. They most likely will agree because they want you and your business to succeed, particularly because it reinforces their decision to use your product or service. The testimonial may be a simple quote or a longer case study that demonstrates how your product or service solved their problem. Once you’ve secured the testimonial, you need to find vehicles to publish it. It should be posted on your website. You should also search and identify publications or sites that would be interested in publishing the case study.

    3. Participate in Industry Meetings
    Believe it or not, face-to-face meetings are not dead. Participating in industry meetings, conferences, and tradeshows is a great way to nurture relationships with colleagues, network, and meet new people. If your industry has a national trade association, join it and participate in their meetings. If your product or service is used locally, join your area’s Chamber of Commerce and attend their meetings. Because it is costly to attend meetings, maximize the impact of attending by attempting to set up one-on-one meetings in advance and identify other ways to increase your participation and visibility at the meeting: look for speaking opportunities, sponsor a coffee break, or organize an educational workshop.

    4. Blog
    Everybody seems to have one or is talking about creating one, and for good reason. Publishing a personal blog on your company website is a great way for your customers and prospects to get to know you, your business philosophy, and your company, products, and services. Blogs also allow commentary and enable interaction, which is how you can forge new relationships and grow your business network. Your Blog is a place where you can share anecdotes that demonstrate your expertise or your position on a controversial industry topic. And, it will generate traffic to your site as search engines now identify keywords in blogs.

    5. Be Social
    Grow your business network by using social media sites and apps, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and online networking communities. However, before you jump into social media, you need to fully understand the medium, how it works, and how you can use it to benefit your business. LinkedIn is a great place to start and grow your business network. Twitter is a microblogging site that will complement your blog.

    Using a combination of tried-and-true business development tactics along with new social media strategies, your business network will grow, as will your company.

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