Recently I had a close colleague e-introduce me to another one of my colleagues as "someone you should meet." The other guy wrote, "Yep, already know Scott." I thought that was awesome! These little small-world connections that happen when you've been in business for awhile are a big deal, because they indicate that in some way we've "made it." Wow! People have heard of North Forty Road! It's not a small thing, because it is part of a greater concept: The people or companies that are the best at sales are the ones that value relationships. In fact, I've come to realize that North Forty Road Web Design is far less about building brands and websites than it is about building relationships. The relationships that I have built since starting this business are valuable and building them is the most rewarding part of it. And, the websites we create build relationships, too, online. So, eight years and 6000 contacts later there are bound to be more and more small-world connections. How can you cultivate more relationships: Find excuses to meet people (the right Chamber of Commerce events, network groups, business gatherings and seminars), and cherish every business card. Follow up with a sincere "nice to meet you" note. Meet people individually for coffee or lunch. Listen and really be interested in learning new stuff about another business. It's amazing what you can learn! Then, that will be a lasting relationship that will bear fruit in your business next week, next month, maybe even years later.
by Lisa Polce, Guest Blogger First, you probably won’t think of it this way, but you are better at networking than you think. Let’s face it, you network in the grocery store, in church, in an elevator, at your children’s school. Networking is having a conversation. Let’s take the stress out of feeling like you have to have a sales pitch. Networking, at least, good networking is a skill. I don’t think it comes naturally. The art of networking and at the core is, don’t expect anything in return. When you genuinely want to help a colleague succeed, you will succeed. Networking is planting a seed. You never know where that conversation will go or lead. Many times, it will surprise you that it does come back to you. What you give out, comes back. In my travels, I have heard over and over, people do business with people they know. Networking is another way of saying you are building on your relationships. With that, you build trust and trust leads to referrals. Networking isn’t easy. As it does have the word, “work” in it. Network! It’s hard work and you have to keep doing it to get better at your skills. Networking isn’t a sales pitch. You are a farmer planting a seed, and with your hard work, you can watch that seed grow. What can you walk away with from this article? If you are passionate about your career choice, like what you do, then simply be yourself. Keep in mind when introducing yourself, How can I help you gain more business? Plant the seed, water it and help it grow. Helping others builds your confidence and and in return, you gain trust with others. Be on the look out for more information on networking. Feel free to share comments or feedback at http://www.hjgraphicdesigns.com/contactus.php. Just be yourself and enjoy what you do, the talking comes easy! About Lisa Polce: With 18 years of experience, I will meet and go beyond your expectations, multitask, have an incredible work ethic and strong customer service. My graphic design background involves not only creativity, layout and design, but extensive pre-press work for commercial printing. I understand the end result, in which it is not only a great design of visual communication, but that there is correct paper choice and correct choice of printers to ensure the outcome of your project will be the best possible.