Networking involves and is all about building mutually beneficial relationships and making connections. Networking is about meeting the right people who can in some way or the other help in expanding one’s business. It is said that it is all about who knows you and not about who all you know! When asked about the skills that helped in excelling the career of a senior executive or a successful artist or leader, the answers are usually hard work and right networking. Business networking helps in expanding one’s knowledge base, learning from others experiences and acquiring new followers or clients.

With so many advertisements in the market for all kinds of products and services, one often gets confused about which one to choose, this is where the personal relationships come into the picture. The very personal relationships that one has formed through networking, enables one’s organization to stand out from the rest. Business relationships are the stimulus for success. In order to succeed in today’s fast pace business environment, it is very important to continue to connect with new people, cultivate relationships and thus leverage one’s network.

WHY NETWORK?

· Referral generation

· Opportunities

· Connections

· Increased knowledge

· Increased confidence along with positive influence

Referral generation = increased business

Generation of referrals is the most important and obvious benefit of networking. Referral generation is also the reason why the top executives and business owners attend networking events and join many networking groups. The great news is that the referrals generated through networking are already kind of pre-qualified for your business and are of high quality as one has spent time in cultivating the relationships and thus they would only have good things to say about your business. One can feel free to follow up on these referrals in order to turn them into customers. Thus, networking provides you with high quality leads which have a very high chance or rate of conversion as compared to referrals or leads generated through other forms of marketing.

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Opportunities

By opportunities I mean referrals, leads, partnerships, joint ventures, asset sales etc. There are many opportunities that come from networking with great minds. However, one needs to make sure that one is taking up on the right opportunity and not just taking up and hogging upon every opportunity that strikes as that might not be the best way to get around a profitable business as it will end up leading you nowhere in particular. Not all opportunities end well, thus think twice before leaping. The opportunities should be in line with your business goals and objectives and your beliefs.

Connections

As I have mentioned above that business is more about who knows you and not really much about who you know. Connections are a great benefit of networking as these are people who you will be able to call upon in times of need and if you have a good relationship with them, they would be more than willing to help you out. Networking helps in connecting you to highly influential people who otherwise would not have been easy to form relationships with or meet and talk with in the first place. Networking is also not just about one on one person relationships, it is about an individual’s network plus another individual’s network. So, by forming relationship, you are actually tapping on an entire network of a person.

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Increased knowledge

Having like-minded people in your network or people from similar backgrounds and similar businesses will help in tapping into their brain source. Networking helps in getting to know people with experience and knowledge. One can learn about latest trends, deeper information, maybe even insider knowledge and information if one has cultivated a deep bond with a knowledgeable person. They are the people who actually know about things and are not just providing their opinions or views.

Increased confidence along with positive influence

The people you hang out with, determine your behavior and your future. Thus hanging out or networking with positive and uplifting people will help you in growing and thriving in a business or personal setting. Also, networking helps in increasing one’s confidence as one needs to push oneself to talk to someone new in a networking event. Talking is of utmost importance in a business setting since every business depends upon talking and connecting with people.

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