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What Is Your Net(work) Worth?Networking is a key component for all ofus regardless of the "Name on the Door" orthe "Company on the Card". There is astrong association between the entrepreneuras an individual, and the company jobdescription that should excite us to get outthere and create our own world by becominga "Networking Expert".We all know that networking has becomean integral aspect of growing our business.But are we networking consistently and effec-tively? Sure, we talk our "industry lingo"when we are around each other, and quitewell I might add. Ask yourself these ques-tions:.Are you going out of your way to attendtrue networking events and activities? .Do you arrange these activities into yourschedule and have a plan for what youwill accomplish at them?.Do you attend with the intention oflearning how you can help others?To understand networking, we first need torealize the vast amount of places and situa-tions that networking opportunities exist.Networking is not just an "After Hours Event"that you attend, bring a stack of businesscards, and go about the room glad handingand asking "how's business?". Think rather about where all these oppor-tunities of meeting "potentially powerful peo-ple" may be, and go there! By powerful, Imean having the ability to empower, and helpsomeone else, who in turn may return thefavor in the future. There it is! Networking ismeeting and helping people, so that both ofyour futures are brighter and more prosper-ous. That is the unadorned truth; one of thebest ways to build relationships is to be gen-uine and see how you can help others getwhat they need before thinking of how theycan help you. Now that we have established networkingas the building and growth of new and strongrelationships, where might we find them? Like looking for your local favorite restau-rant, or finding your best fishing hole, you gowhere the people are biting, where the peopleyou want to attract are; Educational Classes,Seminars, Lunch and Learns, Chamber ofCommerce, Car Wash, Doctor's Office orMember Mixers!! Become a volunteer and/orhold a volunteer position. The list is endless.Sometimes it's just helping someone with arecommendation for a good accountant or areliable service station. You've heard of "whatgoes around comes around". Both the peopleyou refer and the person or company you rec-ommend are now part of your network. Ifyou have the desire to connect and grow, theevent or opportunity is out there waiting foryou! There's an old adage; "It's not what youknow, but who you know". While the state-ment is true, it also over simplifies. It is alsoabout who knows you. Simply knowing animportant person does not necessarily meanthey will know and remember you! The otherperson must perceive you as having worthfirst, and then they will perceive you as some-one worth knowing. The "net-net" for becoming all that you canbe lies within you and your every encounter!.Do you make your first impression yourbest impression and a memorable one?Do you stand out amongst the gatheredbusiness cards? It is less about meetingnew people than having them rememberyou after you leave!.Are you timely, personal and consistentin your networking follow-up? Don'tleave the room with good intentions andend up with a guilt file of connections,phone numbers and cards that go unno-ticed and unanswered..Will you commit to understanding thatmeeting someone once is rarely enoughto get new business? Repeated contact isthe name of the game, so future plannedencounters is networking progress.If you can say yes to these questions, thenyou will think of networking as an integralpart of your day and not as a "mandatory"event to attend.Tips to guide you through effectiveNetworking:.Do less better.You don't have to attendsomething weekly. Start small. You don'thave to work the whole room. Findsomeone you connect with at each andevery event; have them introduce you tosomeone else. Your list will grow fasterthan you can keep up with. If you havea follow-up assignment for a particularcontact, do it right away, but also send apersonal note to every contact you make..Prepare an introduction; make yourmini "Super Bowl" commercial aboutwho you are and what you do. Keep itsimple but memorable so they will wantto share your story with others..Speak with confidence; believe in your-self. Others will want to be with you andbe associated with you. To be a powerfulHere is one of the first questions I want you to ask yourself to fully understand the importance of net-working. Do you own your own company or do you work for someone else? I believe we are all CEO's ofour business, whether we sign our own checks or someone else signs them for us! I say this because itis the entrepreneurial spirit of a business owner that drives you to make the most of every businessopportunity for both profitability and sustainability.BYKERRYMULCRONE//Mulcrone andAssociates, 2010 Sales and Marketing Council Chair651-817-4089MarketingMarketingFeature>>CONTINUEDTOPAGE5818BUILDERS' DIGEST| OCTOBER-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2010

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