Tim Bursch interview – social entrepreneur and marketer
Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
Tim Bursch: Business Networking for me is all about relationships and creating connections. When I meet someone new I am thinking about how I can help them and who I can introduce them to. Connecting the dots. Networking is not about keeping track of favors or how many cards you can get. It is about sharing and helping each other for the long-term.
Josh: Can you share a few ideas that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?
What works for me?
-Ask good Questions. When I make a new connection, I don’t just ask “What do you do?”. I usually ask a couple questions like: What gets you most excited right now? What is your biggest challenge? When you really listen to the answers to these questions, you learn a lot and you can go deeper.
-Give away something. When you check in with business connections leave them with something relevant. If you paid attention to their motivations and problems, share an article that might help. Connect them with someone or something that will just bring the greater good. It’s worth it and it’s personally satisfying to give away.
Josh: For some people knowing where to go to network in the first place is a problem. Can you share some specific resources, events, or places that you have found helpful for meeting new people and growing your business network (either online or offline)?
Tim Bursch: Lately, I have found Twitter to be a great place to start conversations with people. After you tweet with someone and see a purpose in conversing some more, ask them to meet for coffee. It could be as simple as building each other’s network, but be clear about why you want to meet. I have found meet-ups and groups through Linkedin that have offline meetings. These online tools allow you to find groups in your niche and then you just show up.
Josh: Can you share a personal “networking” success story with us?
Tim Bursch: I often meet other parents through my kid’s sports. People usually talk about what they do, right? Well, I’ve just built the kind of relationships I’m talking about in these situations too – by listening and connecting.
Last spring I met a parent who had some job challenges, I listened and just threw him some connections. A year goes by and this spring the same parent now referred an unexpected but valuable client to me. It’s cool when seeds from genuinely caring about others grow into valuable connections.
*brought to you by BusinessNetworkingAdvice.com