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The Top Twenty Benefits of Networking
By Rob Brown

Unless you see at least some of the many upsides of networking, you'll never truly be out there with a positive and expectant outlook. Any good coach or student of psychology will tell you that if your 'why' is not strong enough with a particular goal, then the chances are you will fail to achieve your goal. Whether you have to motivate yourself or your team, this article will give you all the upsides you need!

Perhaps you already know the Seven Gremlins of Highly Ineffective Networkers. These are the key factors that prevent you from getting out there and creating opportunities. One of them is The Knowledge Factor, which says that unless you see at least some of the many upsides of networking, you'll never truly be out there with a positive and expectant outlook. Any good coach or student of psychology will tell you that if your 'why' is not strong enough with a particular goal, then the chances are you will fail to achieve your goal.
You see, networking opens doors for you. It takes you to those who are looking for new business, and helps bring their new business to you. Through networking, you can uncover a whole host of new business opportunities, raise your personal profile within your current professional circle, and maybe even join a new one – business can be lonely if you don’t move in the right circles! By going out there and finding these professional groups, your self-confidence & self-esteem will get a possibly well-needed boost. However, even if you don’t gain any new clients from your next prospective business circle, you might pick up a few friends along the way.

Networking events are great places to source new suppliers, or maybe recruit your next employee, non-executive director, team member, or business partner. Just think, you could locate a joint venture partner, or build a new strategic alliance just by taking a step outside. There may even be funding, resources, expertise and advice out there, just waiting for you to introduce yourself.

Think about your profit margins. How close to the line are you? Even the entrepreneurs who have made their fortune, and the self-made men and women of the world who are now standing proud at the top of their industries, will have gone out to find help or to find a prospect. In short, they went out to network. You too could have the business, and financial gain that you desire IF you get out there and meet those who are looking for the same thing. And realistically, you never know what you might achieve unless you try.

Networking can not only gain you new business, but can also deepen the relationships that you have with your existing clients. If you’re touching base with them on a regular basis, who knows where your relationship may spiral to! Just remember: the more you put in, the more you are going to get out.

Why not invite some of your clients along to the next event you go to? Passing on this knowledge and resource to them could mean more business, not only for your clients, but for you too!

There is a direct correlation between your networking activity and your success IF YOU DO IT RIGHT! So let's attack your lack of motivation with some education on the many benefits of networking. There are hundreds, and here is a summary of my top 20.

  1. Improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.
  2. Source great suppliers or advisers.
  3. Make your mark in a new role or territory.
  4. Enjoy the challenge, the adrenalin kick and thrill of winning new business!
  5. Learn new ideas, industry tips and insider trends and information.
  6. Scout the competition, see who your rivals are and what they're doing.
  7. Maintain and ‘go deeper’ with your existing contacts, clients and colleagues.
  8. Develop ‘referral networks’ by educating your contacts in exactly what you’re looking for.
  9. Meet new friends or gain a support system - business can be lonely!
  10. Develop leadership skills.
  11. Locate new joint venture partners or strategic alliances.
  12. Uncover new business opportunities.
  13. Make more profits and more money!
  14. Meet or exceed targets for bonuses, commissions or equity.
  15. Keep your boss off your back!
  16. Safeguard your job and make you 'un-firable' in tough economic times.
  17. Recruit your next employee, non-executive director, team member or specialist professional.
  18. Raise your personal profile.
  19. Source mentors and gurus who can cut your learning curve to where you want to go.
  20. Have fun - it's good getting out of the office to meet new and interesting people!

So what's stopping you from getting out there when all of these wonderful goodies are available to you? Get yourself booked onto something soon, and remember that everyone you know with a great network, lots of contacts and an abundance of networking skills didn't get like that overnight. If you want to reap in the summer, you sow in the spring.

Happy networking!

Added: 30th November 2010

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