What Does Business Networking Mean?

Do you need help figuring out the Business Networking Puzzle?iStock_000025312112Small


When running or marketing your business, you will often hear how critical the aspect of networking is to the process of growing your business and achieving your goals.  Through reaching out to a network of personal and business connections, you can leverage these contacts to provide a steady supply of business.  Business networking is one of the most effective low-cost marketing methods available to you.  Often times, networking is absolutely free – the only thing it costs you is a small amount of time.  When there is a cost involved in networking, this cost is generally for attending conventions and other industry events.

The individuals you connect with on a regular basis are often the people who understand your business the best, and who have their own network of prospects they can turn into referrals for your business.  Through networking properly, you can drastically increase your business through word of mouth marketing alone.

Consumers trust recommendations from individuals in their network, and are more likely to become a customer if referred to by someone they know or work with.  For example, a recent study by Nielson shows that 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising.

When beginning the process of networking, it is easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed.  It’s important to approach networking for business growth in a strategic and focused manner.  Reach out to individuals who you think you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with.  Remember to be proactive; you should always keep networking top of mind when you are meeting new people. When forming new relationships, consider how you may be able to leverage the relationship or partnership, and also what you can do for them.  The key to networking is reciprocation, you have to give as much as you get – but with a strong network, this will be easy to accomplish.

There are many groups available for the business owner.  These networking groups are full of individuals, like yourself, seeking to reach out and meet other professionals.  Because there is an expectation of networking in these groups, it is often the easiest place to begin.iStock_000012461219Small

In the end remember the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Learning and mastering the skills to build strong relationships will create a competitive advantage that any savvy business professional can utilize to create endless business opportunities.

If you’d like to learn more about Networking and how it can help your business, lets talk.  I can help you learn about groups in your area and help you to evaluate why one group may be a better fit over another.BNI

Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.  Additionally Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Inspiring Greatness…Developing Success!

Think Like a Marketing Pro

How to Think Like a Marketer

      “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well                the product or service fits him and sells itself.” ‑- Peter F. Drucker
       “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.Milan Kundera
 Marketing and strategy

Many people say that they hate marketing. That’s usually because they think marketing is all about advertising and sales.

Marketing is a process, not an event. It involves research, promotion and distribution as well as advertising and sales. But perhaps the most important, and most overlooked, aspect of marketing is having the right marketing attitude or “marketing mindset.”

When you have a marketing mindset, no matter what role you perform in the organization, you ask how you can build awareness among customers and clients about your products and services.

Having a marketing mindset also means that you strive to become a profit center. For instance, if you cost the company “x” amount in terms of salary and benefits, then your work output would be contributing money to cover that and more.

“The sole purpose of marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and at higher prices. There is no other reason to do it.” ‑- Sergio Zyman

The Marketing Mindset in Action

As you develop a marketing mindset, ideas of how to meet marketing goals on a daily basis will come easily, but here are a few ways to get started:

Know your product or service inside out. This may sound obvious but think about how many times we, as customers, have walked away from a purchase because the person helping us couldn’t answer a few basic questions about their product or service.

Find ways to leverage the competition’s mistakes. It’s easy to see what the competition is doing well and to try to replicate their success. But just as much (and sometimes more) can be learned by observing what the competition is doing poorly. Think of the competition’s weak spot as the place where a client’s needs are not being met. What can you do to step in and meet those needs?

Point your clients and customers in your direction. If you’re in customer service, try to solve all customer problems by pointing them to something your company sells.

The “bottom line” isn’t just about money coming in. Looking for ways to save is just as important as finding new revenue streams. If you’re in accounting, for example, instead of just recording where the money is going, watch for places to save. When looking at those numbers is there a way that sales can be made more efficiently?

Every customer or client meeting is a networking opportunity. The term “networking” makes some people uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be about “schmoozing” or closing a sale. It’s simply having a conversation in an effort to build new relationships or strengthen current ones.

Marketing is an exchange. The marketer asks the consumer to perform an action (say, buying a soda), and in exchange, the marketer gives the consumer a benefit (in this case, sweet taste and a cool image). An exchange like this is true commercial marketing, where the objective is to get people to buy something.

So, what does it mean to think like a marketer? In part, it means recognizing your side of the exchange—the fact that you need to offer something. Understanding your prospects needs are critical.

  • What does my audience want?
  • What do they care about?
  • What do they dislike?

In business, everything is marketing, and marketing is everything.  All of it affects or contributes to the profitability of the company.

Thom Torode is a Morris County based Executive & Business Coach. He owned over 5 different businesses before founding Sunrise Business Advisors, LLC.  To reach Thom give him a call for more information. www.SBANOW.com

When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Sunrise Business Advisors can be reached at 862-219-6890 or info@SBAnow.com