is a activity that consists of socializing with others until you become friends. It can be live or online. So, how many friends do you need?
If you have a lot of friends, you’ll have a lot of business. You’ll be able to get anything you need. Let’s face it – When you need something and don’t already know how to get it, you call a friend. That friend can either provide you with what you need or refer you to someone else that can.
When I served in the military, everybody’s best friend was the Supply-Sergeant. He could get you anything you needed, IF you were his friend.
Therefore, if you want more business, get more friends. Preferably, you need friends who need what you have to offer, or can introduce you to others that do. This is the purpose of business networking. Until others see you as their friend, you’re still working at it, not yet succeeding.
The purpose of business networking is turning connections into friends. It was Zig Ziglar who said: “You can get everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. A key to making friends is to give first; help others get what they need or want. Another key is to actually connect with your connections.
You “connect” by getting to know others through asking, listening, and discovering what they need and how you can help them get it. You can’t connect just by exchanging business cards or linking on-line. Make it a part of your regular working schedule to interact with new and existing contacts by phone, email, and in person. Leverage your “connects” by actively participating in events that bring you together in a manner to spend a little one-on-one time with each person and have a meaningful conversation.
A meaningful conversation includes sharing your feelings, aspirations, and what you have to offer, not “pitching” yourself. It is important to listen more than you speak while “being there for your friend” to offer help, support, and assistance when needed. It is a real commitment. “A friend in need is a friend indeed” contains a lot of wisdom. Find their need and help them fill it. Connects like these build stronger and long-lasting friendships.
Every friendship has to begin at a “moment” in time. When you or someone takes the initiative to request that “moment”, however expressed, (maybe it’s a request for an on-line link) your ability to respond (Response-Ability) determines the potential or lost opportunity to connect with a future associate, benefactor, or friend. You never know where each new encounter may lead. Don’t forget to be “nice” to everyone and welcome new connections.
If you schedule opportunities for new encounters as part of your marketing plan, you will create new “moments” that will serve to build your network of friends. Oh yeah. And, keep a little black book or contact database so you can re-connect regularly. Don’t lose touch. Ping often. If you’d like to connect with me – please do.
No one is too busy to have a new friend. So, how many friends do you need? Depends on how much you desire to succeed. The answer probably is: you can never have too many friends.
Howard writes, speaks, and consults about sensible selling using the new media reality.
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