Networking has everything to do with Appreciation Marketing. When you network, you meet people who are other business owners, other business employees, people who are interested in starting businesses, and people who may be looking for employment.
I attend any and every networking event that I can, and I have never attended a networking event at which I have not met someone meaningful or learned something significant. When you attend networking events, you are there to meet people and not to sell your product or service.
When you meet people at networking events, gather their contact information and ask if you may meet one-on-one and get to know each other. There is no prize for the person who collects the most business cards at a networking event; there is a prize for the person who follows up with people that they meet. When you meet one-on-one, it is not to sell your product or service; it is to gather information to build your network, to add to your networking partners list. I have never met with anyone one-on-one when I have not learned something meaningful.
When you meet with someone one-on-one, determine if they are professional, passionate about their business, and yet personable. Chat with them about networking, their business, your business, and referrals. Remember, do not try to sell them anything. You are there to establish a relationship so that you can pass referrals to each other. Passing referrals shows that you endorse them, that you trust them to do a good job, and that you place your reputation on the line to recommend them. You are showing appreciation for the job and service that they provide.
People who are professional (their business is not a hobby), passionate about their business (they are adamant about providing excellent customer service), and yet personable (they treat others as human beings) are the people who I want in my network and are the people who I will recommend without hesitation. Those are the people who understand appreciation of customers, non-customers, vendors, and other people, whether they are business partners or not.
If you have questions or comments, please email or call me, so we can discuss them. Want to meet for a chat? We can do that. Want to discuss your business and how you practice appreciation marketing? We can do that. Thank you for your interest and input.