Business to Business Networking, by Bob Leech, NJGEC
Business is about numbers, and most people do business with people they know, like & trust. Whether your business is b2b or b2c even in today’s world of social media; business development requires getting out and meeting prospects / client’s face to face.
If you were to Google “Networking” you will find “Networking is a process that fosters the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share a common interest. It may be for social or business purposes”. We launched NJGEC in January of 2013, and in the past six years, Business to Business Networking has been our most successful form of marketing in building our business.
Networking takes time and it is all about building relationships. Again people do business with people they know, like and trust. Have you ever attended a networking event when someone will approach you, hand you a business card or brochure and immediately jump into a sales pitch. Please don’t be that guy; nobody wants to do business with that guy. I know business is about numbers, but networking is not about selling and getting your business card into as many hands as possible. You will be more successful having one quality conversation with another professional and growing your network of quality people, than you will passing out a box of business cards to a bunch of people who simply will not care about you or your business.
The most important thing you can do when meeting new people at a business to business event is listen. During a conversation, stay focused on what the other person is saying. Ask questions, to learn how you can help each new connection, so you can make quality introductions to others in your network. Be excited about networking, ditch the elevator pitch and set goals of building new relationships. Interesting people easily make meaningful connections, be prepared to talk about topics outside of your business, be yourself and have fun. It’s also important to follow up with new connections, meet for a cup of coffee be helpful and genuine.
In today’s world, networking is a necessity for growing and branding your business. Research shows that professional networks lead to more business opportunities. Succeeding in business is all about making the right professional connections; it helps you grow your business and opens doors to new opportunities. Business to business networking is the process of establishing mutually beneficial relationships with other business people and entrepreneurs to form professional relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. One of the best ways to meet those contacts is by attending business to business networking events. Sharing information and learning more about other’s and their business models can and will provide quality referrals.
The primary purpose of business to business networking is to tell others about your business and hopefully they can refer you to someone they know, who may benefit from your products or services. Building your network of business referrals makes you a more valued resource to your client base. You are the expert in your field, however being a referral resource to your customers for challenges they may be experiencing outside of your expertise, makes you an extremely valued resource. It will also build your client relationships. I always feel comfortable and make a point of telling my clients that I enjoy and do a lot of business to business networking. Outside of their energy management needs, I have a large network of professionals that I can refer them to should they have any challenges they like to speak to a high quality professional about. It’s just an introduction and a conversation. They can decide for themselves should they decide to do business with your referral. You are simply making an introduction to a quality person who may be in a position to help. If you look at it from a client’s point of view, you are a problem solver. This can only strengthen your relationship, as long as you choose and make quality referrals. Remember your referrals are a direct reflection on you, make sure you know who you are recommending.
NJGEC is a member of EANJ https://www.eanj.com (The Executives Association of New Jersey) which is one of the state’s oldest and most prestigious networking organizations. EANJ has been around since the 1930’s and has 50+ members from a wide range of industries and disciplines all over the state. Over the past few years, each and every member has not only become a quality referral for NJGEC, they have all become personal friends. EANJ is a business to business networking group that is more of a family than networking partners and that is something very special. Many members are also clients. Please click on our web site to learn more about EANJ and it’s members. I would be happy to make a personal introduction to anyone in the group you would like to meet.
Remember, people do business with people they know like and trust. Business to business networking does it all.
By Bob Leech, NJGEC