Good morning land lovers ... yes, I'm feeling wacky this morning. So I read a great book over the weekend by Janice Jordan titled It's More than Wine and Meatballs: The secrets to more effective Networking and Growing Through Referrals. I've been in business six years now going on seven and most business books don't necessarily tell me anything I don't already know. I've long since hit the message home about the value and importance of networking and relationship building to grow your business. So, I thought this morning I would give you three meaningful tips that Janice's book simply reinforces:
Relationship building is not about throwing business cards at people. Relationship building is exactly how it sounds -- you build a real relationship and you help each other. Relationship building is not necessarily about making the sale. It's about getting to know each other and figuring how you can create synergies to flow the business back and forth. Sometimes it's just about making a dear friend.
Networking is not about you making yourself the life of the party. Networking is about doing what I just suggested -- building real, lasting relationships. When you attend mixers and functions and try to make yourself the life of the party, you probably won't get taken seriously and more likely people will whisper perhaps some unflattering things about you. So be friendly, courteous and outgoing, but most importantly be a good listener and act respectful. Do not drink more than one glass of wine. A social drink is one thing, but more than that and you look unprofessional and ... drunk.
Watch your image and keep it professional to project success. The biggest mistake I see beginning entrepreneurs do is tell everyone how successful they are yet their image doesn't match. Now I'm not suggesting you go out and purchase designer everything or drive an expensive foreign car. I'm merely saying that your wardrobe and accessories need to line up with what you're saying about your business. If you're truly just starting out, invest in a small handful of nice items -- and ladies please watch your shoes and handbags (those two items alone speak volumes).
If you would like to know more about my company 3L Publishing, please visit the website at www.3LPublishing.com. We also provide comprehensive marketing and public relations for businesses and do custom publishing.