Business Networking Strategies

  • Be Genuine: One of the most important aspects of effective business networking is being genuine. The foundation of business networking is relationships. The better the quality of the relationships you build, the more leverage you get from a networking group. Be yourself and don’t try to be someone you’re not. People refer to you as a person, not just your products or services.
  • Know Your Goals: The Lehigh Valley Elite Network groups are designed to educate members about each other and provide a systematic way for establishing and maintaining business relationships, beyond simply making contacts. It helps to know your goals when joining the group.
  • Visit Various Groups: To ensure the group you join is a good fit, visit different groups to get a feel for their tone. It's more productive to commit to one or two groups where you can actively participate and get to know the members. The Lehigh Valley Elite Network requires you to choose at least one home group where you will be responsible for monthly attendance.
  • Ask Questions: Each month, three members give presentations to the group. Asking questions afterward shows you are an active participant and interested in your fellow members' businesses. It’s important to them, so make it important to you.
  • Show Up Regularly: Regular attendance reflects your character and integrity, showing fellow members that you can be depended on. Regular attendance also increases your chances of getting referrals. If you can’t attend a meeting, find a substitute and inform your fellow members in advance.
  • Become Known as a Resource: Conduct one-on-ones with fellow members to learn about their businesses and how you can help. The best networkers understand the ins and outs of their fellow members' businesses and challenges. They can then connect members with useful resources. Soon, people will see you as a valuable resource and turn to you for advice and suggestions.
  • Know Your Business: Be able to describe your business clearly, succinctly, and persuasively. Have a 30 to 45-second "elevator pitch" ready that sets you apart from others in your field. Make it easy for others to understand and relay what you do.
  • Follow Through: When a member gives you a referral, contact that referral promptly. Members usually inform the referral that you will be in touch, and they will likely follow up. If you don’t follow through, you may lose future referrals. Quick follow-up will grow your referral base.
  • Be a Member, Not a Taker: Engage with everyone, getting to know them and their business. Show genuine interest by maintaining eye contact and listening actively. Find ways to help them. Be the kind of member others want to refer to. Remember, people refer you as a person, not just your business.
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