Feb
08

Top 10 Networking Tips: Networking As A Group

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Have you ever been for a job interview and happily talked about your skills and experience – but wished someone else could talk about how well you did it all?

The same can be true when we talk about our businesses.  You may find it easy to explain your product or service, but wish someone else could tell people how good you are at providing it.

Ah, don’t you just sometimes wish you had a “bragging buddy”?  Let’s continue our series on Top 10 Tips for Networking by taking a closer look at how networking “in a group” can help grow your business.

Why Do We Need Bragging Buddies?

Networking “in a group” means networking with “bragging buddies,” that is people who can tell others how good we are!

We need bragging buddies because:

  1. Sometimes it can be difficult to say good things about ourselves – and in Australia, as a nation, we are notoriously bad at talking ourselves up.
  2. It may in fact sound like bragging to others when we do talk about our achievements, and you may fall prey to their version of the dreaded Tall Poppy Syndrome.
  3. Fact: Many women have a harder time talking about their own achievements than most men.  Take a (female or male) bragging buddy if you fall into that category.
  4. We need bragging buddies because they offer a level of credibility to the claims we make about ourselves.
  5. When other people are willing to vouch for us they are vetting us for others.
  6. When our bragging buddies tell our potential customers about working with us they confirm we really can do what we say we can.  And do it well.

In addition, we also need bragging buddies that we network with in a group, because they make us feel good!

The more enthusiastic and positive we feel about ourselves, the easier it is to talk about our businesses.  And we all know: customers respond to enthusiasm and positivity.

Who Makes A Good Bragging Buddy?

There are several connections who make good bragging buddies; they can be individuals or groups.

1. Networking With Your Power Teams

Every BNI chapter has groups of bragging buddies already set up.  How so?

Because every chapter has Power Teams, groups that are made up of complementary businesses with similar customer bases, but that offer different goods and services.

Networking with people in these complementary businesses means they can extol your virtues to your prospective clients because you have already worked together on projects for the same clients.  They can also recommend you to their existing clients.

It’s a win, win, win situation!

Common and great combinations of complementary businesses in Power Teams include:

  • Marketing-related professions, such as graphic designers, web developers, marketing strategists, copywriters, events managers, photographers, and social media specialists.
  • Real estate and finance-related businesses, such as attorneys, CPAs, insurance specialists, mortgage brokers and real estate agents.
  • Wellness-related businesses, such as chiropractors, life coaches, massage therapists, personal trainers and air/water purification businesses.
  • Personal services, such as mechanics, errand/delivery services, pet-sitters and travel agents.

So network with your Power Team – be each other’s collective bragging buddies!

2. Networking With Your Existing Clients

The most powerful individuals you can network with are your existing, happy clients.

Networking with current clients is like having a walking testimonial.  They lend further credibility to your claims, and give a unique view of how your services have benefited their business.

And for an existing client to be willing to spend their time telling others how happy they are working with you is clearly the best endorsement.

So Where To From Here?  Find Your Bragging Buddies!

The first step to networking “as a group” is to start thinking about who your bragging buddies are, both groups and individuals.

So talk to your Power Team and your most satisfied existing clients.  Invite them out to a networking event with you.

Applied properly, networking “in a group” will lead to exponential gains for your credibility – and your conversion rate and profits.

Happy Networking – and buddy-bragging!

Categories : Networking

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