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

Kathy Nelson – Business Success Coach

Kathy Nelson is a seasoned certified Life and Business Success Coach. She challenges her clients to follow their vision, create their plans, use their talents, recognize their strengths and break through their limits. You can visit her and learn more about what she does at either OnTrackSuccessCoaching.com or Linkedin.com/in/ontracksuccesscoaching.

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

Kathy Nelson: Creating relationships and growing and contributing to community within associations and groups online or in-person. This can run the gambit from interest groups to business groups and philanthropic groups.

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

Kathy Nelson: 1. Help others get what they need and want. At BNI we have a saying, “Givers gain”. I find that is true.

2. Get really good with your 30 or 60 second elevator speech or commercial. Make it about your benefits to others, not a brag op for you. The word *you* is more important than the word *I*. Practice it until it is natural.

3. Get comfortable about talking about the value and benefits of your services and share stories of how it has served others. Before and after stories paint the story too.

4. When you meet someone at a meeting that is interesting, follow up with an invite for coffee and make the date. You will build your network one great person at a time. Find the common threads to create rapport.

Josh: Based on your experiences, which places and activities have you found best for meeting new people and expanding your business network?

Kathy Nelson: I have found success with BNI, local Network groups, NAFE, NAWBO, Chamber of Commerce, Business Association meetings, Rotary, Kiwanis, PTA and Soccer groups, anywhere where people come together for causes and interests. What are your interests? Where does your target market hang out? There are many great groups you can join and get involved with. Check out their forums too.

If you are friendly, interested in meeting and talking with others you will strike up a natural conversation. Wear a T Shirt or Hat with your company logo on it or something that says what you do. I used to wear a badge and people would ask me about the real estate market and start conversations with me in grocery and drug store lines. I was not a Realtor, but I got some leads for some of my clients who were.

Online social communities work well too. I have become active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and grown good relationships in the last 9 months.

Josh: Can you share a personal networking success story with us?

Kathy Nelson: I joined a local BNI network close to my office over ten years ago. Not only do I coach a lot of our members, but I regularly receive referrals from them. I believe these groups accounts for a good 40% of my business income and I have great resources available to support my clients needs as well.

– Happy Networking, Josh Hinds
(Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter)

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