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Question DetailsAsked on 1/24/2012

What are some best practices for networking? Do any clubs or organizations provide networking opportunities that help grow your business?

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12 Answers


Other than BNI, which is demanding. I belong to none.

Answered 8 years ago by sprky


Start with online social networking (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc.). Research topics that relate to your business. Our business is a Seattle junk removal business, so we research items that relate (recycling, waste management, hauling etc.).

Once I find others who are talking about similar items I try to branch out to them, by directly contacting them about items we hold in common. For instance donation organizations and junk removal companies have a common item, we have donatable goods and they want donatable goods.

We contacted one donation organization about acceptable items via their facebook account and set up a donation drive. Then started collecting clothes and books and will be giving these to them shortly.

This created a connection for us (networking), they in turn liked our facebook page and commented on some of our posts that related. It also created a "snowball" effect of other business contacting or liking our page.

The important thing here is that you make initial contact in the public arena, you find similar ground and follow through with something that is in real life. Easy networking route to follow.

There are actual business networks, but why pay for meeting up with people when you can already do it for free.


Answered 8 years ago by Matt W


I think any time you get out and talk face to face with people you are doing the best networking there is. I just do what I like to do and usually I run into just the right person at just the right time, Most all organizations are a excellent way to do networking allot has to do with your goal ,your interest, and what business you are in. What do you think?

Answered 8 years ago by charlene hovey


Join one or more of your local Chamber of Commerce and participate!

Forget about BNI, Le Tip or any of the smaller "limiting membership to only one of a kind business" networking groups. For the price of their admissions, you could join one or more of your local Chamber's
of Commerce. Talk about networking, that's what almost every single Chamber event is designed to accomplish. Instead of 20 or 30 fellow business owners, expose yourself to hundreds. Don't be shy.

You have to show up and press the flesh. You can spend the money to join, regardless if it's the Chamber or one of the smaller networking groups; but if you don't show up, then you can't expect the return on investment. YOU are your best source of advertising and marketing for your business.

Answered 8 years ago by STWebCo


First get a blog. Network blogs is good. Try Word Press and get someone to host it. Then write on your blog. Then write on your write. And finally write on your blog. And if that doesn't work, write on your blog.

Answered 8 years ago by Brad's Safe and Lock


I have belonged, in the past, to BNI, and while I found it to be a bit demanding and even a bit 'pricy', I did get some work from my membership. Internal politics and personality conflicts did me the most damage. Anyway, the one thing that I ALWAYS do, is never, ever leave just one business card with customers or vendors. I always leave at least two cards with the explanation that if they are happy with my work they should find someone to give the extra card to. This has paid off very handsomely for me. In a small town like I live and work in, the word gets out very fast.

The other thing I do and insist my employee does too, is ALWAYS give the customer a tiny bit more than they expect.

Answered 8 years ago by handymanjem


Loyalty is a factor. I belong to one business networking grooup that meets for lunch every week and one that meets for lunch once a month. Over time, we really get to know each other. We have a good variety of businesses, so we refer appropriate customers or clients to each other and encourage each other.

Answered 8 years ago by Guest_99828122


I find the best way to networking is being helpful and carring about others.

When I recive a call or meet someone new I ask questions and let them know what I do ( concrete, stamped concrete and other decortive concrete ) when ask about something I do not do I try to send them in the right direction.

When around diferant suppliers that I like and work with alot I always asking for some new knowlage on produts advailabel and plug in to training semminars to be abel to help my customers out better.

Now organization that help your business grow I would have to say BBB and local organizations that help others from children to us older pepole helping one another will help you self

like the old saying teaching teaches the teacher / well helping helps the helper

in the end being open to new pepole, places and freinds will help your networking and make your life more fun

look forward to helping out soon fromt

Tyrone M. Ward Owner of TMW

Answered 8 years ago by Ty @TMW


My approach to networking is to focus on adding value for others. One example of how we've done this is creating a directory on our online interior design website that allows networking patners to post and share their information with HMD interior design clients. It is moderated but we dont charge anything for this value added promotion. By recommending reliable service pro's we find its a win for the networking partner (they get new clients), for the client (they are directed to reliable Angie's List service providers) and in return we receive good will including client referrals and the opportunities to grow our brand.

Here's the banner we added to our website to annouce the value we are dedicated to offering networking partners.


Answered 8 years ago by HMDhome


I highly recommend spending at least 2 years fully dedicated to a BNI group that you have a synergy with and that actively passes business before deciding weather it is worth it. The longer and larger the group the faster your return on investment. Volunteer anywhere you can and do lots of 121's. Practice the basics BNI teaches until you discover and experience the magic that happens behind the scenes that brings you business. At first it is slow then it builds momentem. The group I belong to currently averages $100k a month in referrals between approximately 29 of us.

But besides BNI, learning the VCP (Visibility, Credebility, Profitability) process BNI teaches and applying it within your own company with all your current and future clients/customers will greatly expand your network.

For instance, Angie's List contains the VCP process all in one place which is why it works so amayzingly once you get the snowball effect of referrals going starting with a couple reports. We all know whoever is at the top of the list has Visiblility and also Credability. When a high grade and great reports really stack up then the Credability leads to Profitablity becouse essentially members are refering other members. It is when those who use your service tell others of your service that the credability leads to profitability. Such as when Angie's List Members tell their friends.

Last of all, once you have developed the core of networking skills in BNI, then I recommend expanding from a hard contact network group to soft contact network groups like Chambers etc... To expand your personal network and use the 121 skills and networking skills gained in BNI.

Answered 8 years ago by CaryP


NFIB, BBB, and COC Contract Opportunities Center

Answered 8 years ago by Annie QW


I am a small busines marketing consultant and this is something I deal with often. It depends on where you live. All big cities are going to have several different networking groups available. In Spokane there are at least nine different groups. Some are free and some like BNI are not.

I belong to two here in Spokane. To find out what is available to you simply Google networking groups and the name of your city or town. You can trry different key word such as leads and referral groups. I even started an online networking roup here so that people don't need to go to meetings.

Answered 8 years ago by tarmar

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