Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Interview with Steve Kinney – CEO and President of Search Optimizers

Steve Kinney is the President & CEO of Search Optimizers. His company focuses on automating the process for performing search engine optimization.

In this interview Steve shares some excellent ideas on how to take your networking efforts to the next level…

Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?

Steve Kinney: Business Networking is the process of building relationships for the mutual benefit of all involved. I recently read a book that really hits the mark on why this is so important, and is almost a guide on how to network in a way that helps others.

The book is called “Love is the Killer App” by Tim Sanders. The premise is that if you really want to succeed in business, you need to help as many people around you get what they need.

If you truly focus on other’s needs and not worry what’s in it for you, eventually you will develop a network of people that see you as a trusted advisor and won’t hesitate to connect you with someone in their network if the fit is right. This is what we all should be doing for our customers, but when we take it to the next level and build a strong business network, and you will help people when it makes sense, and they will help you back over time.

Josh: Can you share one or two ideas that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

Steve Kinney: The first idea is to be open to mentoring others and being mentored yourself. It doesn’t matter how much experience I have, I always am open to learning from experts around me.

Everyone is an expert in something and a novice in many other areas. Share your knowledge freely with others and be open to learning as well.

The second idea comes from Sander’s book: the purpose of collecting contacts is to give them away. He calls this process “collecting, connecting and disappearing.” Everyone that we run into has some areas where they are an expert in and several key problems they are trying to solve in their business.

Ask questions and really listen to the answers. When you learn in which areas they are an expert, think of who you know that could be helped by their expertise. Also, when they tell you what their key business problems are, think about who you know might be able to help them.

The next step is to “connect” the new contact and an existing contact in your rolodex. Setup either a phone meeting or an in person meeting to introduce the parties. Once you are sure they have made the connection, then disappear. There is no need to take their time or yours beyond making the initial connection.

Also, Sander’s strongly recommends not trying to profit from setting up the relationship. If you do, it will make both parties hesitant any time you try to setup another relationship. If you do this well for others, they will eventually do it for you!

Josh: Can you share some of the ways you use the internet for business networking?

Steve Kinney: The Internet is a great way to help in business networking. Before meeting someone for the first time, Google their name and business to learn about their areas of expertise. This information can be a great conversation starter. Also, the Internet is a great place for you to share your areas of expertise. Whitepapers, blogs and podcasts are great ways to give back.

-You can visit Steve Kinney at http://searchoptimizers.com.

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