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, 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 works 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 in 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 I try to take good mental notes, I try to look at the information in the front of the card while conversing to further strengthen my mental notes about that person. People do business with you rather than with your company. As we all know, there are so many others who do the same thing as what you do, so make a point to differentiate yourself. During your one-on-one meetings, remember to show passion about your team, highlight team members as well as 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 a under the hood tour of your operations.  This approach leads to establishing rich connections as well as 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 comes 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. Simply pick and choose how you would best use your time networking as we all have life outside of work to spend quality time with your spouse, kids, family, and friends. Having a meaningful one-on-one conversation can yield you 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 then become easy conversation with new prospects as someone else has already broken the ice for you.

3. Be the Connector

Most people are either 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 an example, you may know a local handy man who is looking for work when your neighbor mentions to you about a “honey-do-list”. If you can be the connector with a 3-way text message to connect the handy man with the neighbor, they will be forever thankful to you! Those two folks will remember your kind gesture for years to come and easily refer you out when they come across such 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 others the more you are going to benefit in return. One may think how it is even possible to get business to come around back to you by connecting two people that has nothing to do with your business? Call it a miracle but it simply works! WE have all heard the old adage, those who give shall receive.

In conclusion, establishing connections, staying connected and by 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 reach out to me with any questions and share your own experiences.

– AJ Aluthwala, Co-Founder, KallistoArt.