When I started my business I was fully of the mindset that networking does not work. It took up too much time and did not seem to lead to any sales. I then read some business networking advice online to improve my skills. After this I definitely felt I was doing more at each networking even I went to, but I was still not convinced it was worth the time so I decided to do a full analysis to see how effective networking really is....
Since starting my business I have been able to generate some revenue from networking. The amount of revenue I have generated though from networking is not large enough to claim that it is the best sales method like many people claim. The thing I am learning is that networking takes time but in time it can be very effective. In addition networking provides many other things of value then just sales revenue.
In the last 8 months I would have to say networking as been one of the most valuable things I have done.
Networking is definitely worth the time and effort if you network effectively.
Here are the stats from my networking.
Total Time Networking = 30 hours
Customers Generated = 2
- found an excellent supplier for a critical piece to my business
- found out about a great free technology that has saved me hours
- picked up some great business advice
- found an excellent advertising method I was previously not aware of
- sharpening of my people and verbal communication skills
So from the above alone the time I have spent networking has been well worth the investment. The exciting part is that the more I talk to people who are networking experts the more I am believing that generating revenue from networking takes time. People need to get to know you and trust you but once they do you in essence will have network contacts working as a sales force to send you leads on autopilot. This means that as I network more the amount of revenue I generate from networking is only going to increase and this is in addition to the many other benefits.
The above data also includes the first few networking events I attended. At these first events I did not know at all how to network and was very ineffective. If you were to take out the time spent at those events the results would be even more impressive.
Referrals is the #1 source of new customers for B2B small businesses so it should be no surprise that networking does work.
If you are a small business owner I highly recommend you start networking on a regular basis as you will not only generate new customers but also receive numerous other high value benefits. If you know networking should work and have tried it but did not get good results or you are just not sure how to network effectively stay tuned for my future blog on my networking tips. In this blog post I will share what I have found to work extremely well for the networking events I have attended.
I help various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener generate new customers. If you are interested in keeping up to date on issues related to generating new customers for B2B small businesses subscribe to this blog by email below. Just enter your email in the box provided.
If you previously were unsure about the effectiveness of networking I hope this article has helped you come to a conclusion. I know I was skeptical of networking. I really did think networking did not work until I read some business networking advice online and learned some of the basic skills to network. After I did this, I started to see results.