Learn the 3 C’s of Business Networking

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KallistoArt business networking

After seeing our social media posts about KallistoArt winning the 2020 Small Business of the Year award from Upper Tampa Bay Chamber, many have asked us what’s our secret sauce for business networking. Therefore, we thought of sharing the 3Cs we have practiced over the years to gain attention in the marketplace and build a solid business.

1. Establish the Connection

Your network is your net worth! Your organization needs to be well known for what you do among your local Chamber of Commerce or other local networking groups such as BNI, RGA or NPI. In-person visits or Zoom calls still work to build meaningful relationships. After participating in a group event, remember to follow up! One-on-one conversations can further strengthen a surface-level connection you made in a group setting. Pay attention to what the other person has to offer and take good mental notes. If that doesn’t work for you, jot down notes on the back of the business cards you picked up at a networking event while conversing, so your follow-up meeting can start from where you left off. Side note; ask for the business card at the beginning of meeting someone rather than at the end. While taking good mental notes, I try to look at the information on the front of the card while conversing to strengthen my mental notes about that person further. People do business with you rather than with your company. As we all know, so many others do the same thing as you do, so make a point to differentiate yourself. During your one-on-one meetings, remember to show passion for your team and highlight team members and your involvement in community building and non-for-profits. People will remember you for a long time for vividly painting a colorful picture by giving them an under-the-hood tour of your operations. This approach leads to establishing rich connections and their ability to refer your business to others.

2. Stay Connected

For community involvement, get to know what is happening in the community. You can be an in-person networking fanatic or have trigger fingers on Facebook. No matter your approach, stay informed about what is latest and greatest in your community. It can be about a new restaurant opening or a struggling business exchanging hands with new owners. Having such know-how is handy during your conversations, so the dialogue does not sound like a one-sided “me, me, me” monologue.

Expand your network. It pays to be part of multiple networking organizations. It is given that we cannot be everywhere all the time. Pick and choose how you would best use your time networking as we all have a life outside work to spend quality time with your spouse, kids, family, and friends. A meaningful one-on-one conversation can yield better results than meeting with the same group of people in a group setting 20 times in one month. So next time you are in a group setting, someone with whom you already had a one-on-one conversation can introduce you to a new contact with many details about what you do since they know about you and your business in great detail. Those warm introductions become easy conversations with new prospects as someone else has already broken the ice for you.

3. Be the Connector

Most people are complaining, bragging, or asking for help, whether online or in person. Being the connector is about having your eyes and ears pricked up to offer warm introductions to help these individuals with their needs. For example, you may know a local handyman looking for work when your neighbor mentions a “honey-do-list.” If you can be the connector with a 3-way text message to connect the handyman with the neighbor, they will be forever thankful to you! Those two folks will remember your kind gesture for years to come and quickly refer you when they come across such an opportunity. I can’t tell you how many times KallistoArt had such warm introductions for website development services and SEO work. The more you connect with others, the more you will benefit in return. One may wonder how it is even possible to get business back to you by connecting two people that have nothing to do with your business? Call it a miracle, but it simply works! WE have all heard the adage, those who give shall receive.

In conclusion, establishing connections, staying connected, and being the connector helps a business grow deep roots in a local community. Your breadth and depth of grasp in all three segments will help to have more visibility as a busines leader. Such schematics will still apply even when you are trying to expand your business reach to other markets with slight changes to your approach. Feel free to contact me with any questions and share your experiences.

– AJ Aluthwala, Co-Founder, KallistoArt.