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10 Networking Myths For Newbies-To-Networking

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  • Maria Marsala Elevating Your Business.c
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      ¤ Contact info: Maria Marsala, Small Business Builder,
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      Summary: Business networking events are a way to
      meet other business owners, gain and give referrals and
      design profitable collaborations.


      Word Count: 966

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      10 Networking Myths For Newbies-To-Networking


      It's a given, isn’t it? If you're in business, your number
      one job is to market. If you keep your business a secret -
      don't let people know how you can help make their lives
      better and what you do, you won't be successful - because no
      one will know that you're in business. How well you network,
      which is the "letting people know how you can help them"
      part, may well determine whether you succeed – or fail.

      There are four main types of organizations where networking
      opportunities for business owners exist. There are 1)
      business networking groups, 2) service-oriented groups
      (Rotary, Elks, Soroptimist, for example), 3) our local
      Chambers of Commerce, and 4) business-specific groups
      (realtors-only, coaches-only, etc.)

      Which one is best for you? Well, in all of the groups, you
      are connecting with other business owners, getting to know
      them personally and professionally, building trust, and
      forging new relationships that can potentially bring you
      business. However, with business networking groups, the main
      focus, the primary objective, is to boost each member's
      business. And isn't that a great objective?

      Business networking groups are "exclusive," meaning that
      only one member in each category of business can join. So
      each group will have only one printer, one residential real
      estate agent, one property manager, one web designer, etc.

      For many women getting started in business, the business
      networking options probably seem abundant. Online, offline,
      via email, via telephone, groups meeting weekly, groups
      meeting once monthly. Some are geared specifically towards
      women business owners; others are not. Some groups are part
      of a larger network of regional, national and international
      association, while other groups are home grown. The
      networking events or meetings are usually structured so that
      women feel "welcome" and are designed to maximize
      opportunities to meet others. Sounds good, right?

      But what if you've never had to network before? Or if you're
      an introvert? Like me!

      Some people make networking look effortless, but here's a
      secret: even for the most gregarious among us, networking
      always requires preparation. Introvert who prepare,
      practice, practice, and practice can become “Networking
      Queens.” (And don't forget to breathe!) If you’re a
      newbie-to-networking, don't let these common myths about
      networking de-rail your efforts to become well known in your
      industry.

      Myth #1: Networking groups are only for new business owners.
      Truth: Many networking groups who show sustained growth have
      a majority of members who have been in business at least 5
      years.

      Myth #2: The only business owners who join networking groups
      are unsuccessful ones.
      Truth: See myth #1.

      Myth #3: Men don't join networking groups.
      Truth: In the small county I live in, men started 1/3 of the
      business networking groups. One group is a women-only group
      and the other groups are a mixture of both men and women.

      Myth #4: Only home business owners or solo business owners
      join networking groups.
      Truth: Home business owners join groups quicker because
      they're looking for community outside their homes. However,
      many bricks 'n' mortar businesses join networking groups and
      do extremely well, too.

      Myth #5: Only business owners join networking groups.
      Truth: Professionals, usually executives and agents who work
      for existing companies, join to promote their companies'
      services and/or products, too.

      Myth #6: Multi-Level Marketing folks are not welcome at
      networking groups.
      Truth: If you are an MLM-er and attend meetings to sell your
      products, you'll get a warmer reception if you're there to
      talk about your products – not to increase your downline.

      Myth #7: Dues are so very high.
      Truth: Membership dues vary from group to group - some
      groups have no dues and others charge dues of $500 per year.
      Find a group that fits your needs or start your own!

      Myth #8: You must refer to those you meet at your meetings
      Truth: No one wants to refer people they don't know well, so
      your goal at these meetings is to get to know other members
      until you're comfortable referring them. Sometimes, you may
      have another associate/friend outside the group that you
      refer instead of, or in addition to, one of your networking
      partners.

      Now, while you're usually not "required" to refer a
      particular person, remember that referring business to other
      members is part of the business networking process. (In a
      few groups, not referring others is a big "no-no" and you
      will be asked to leave; ask about the rules before you
      join.)

      Myth #9: You must attend all meetings.
      Truth: The commitment of your time and talents to a group is
      very important, since you’ll be part of a team of business
      owners. In some groups, you - or a representative - must
      attend all meetings. Most groups have a 75% mandatory
      attendance of its members. A rare few groups have no
      attendance rules.

      Myth #10: I have to join right away.
      Truth: Each group has its own "flavor." Many groups allow
      you to attend two meetings as a guest before you have to
      decide to join or not. Pretty fair rule!

      The bottom line is this: People like to do business with
      people they know and trust. Relationships -- business and
      personal -- take time to develop. Remember that networking
      isn't about instant gratification - it's about long-term
      partnerships. The opportunities are numerous – business
      networking groups are varied enough so that any woman can
      find at least one group that feels like "home." Or two… or
      three…

      So go grab a cup of coffee and visit the list of online and
      offline networking groups I've compiled over the years. It's
      time to get out and become a Networking Queen! If I can do
      it, you can, too!
      http://www.coachmaria.com/business/networking.html.


      ©2005 Maria Marsala. Elevating Your Business makes the business
      of business seem S.I.M.P.L.E.! Exceptional programs, informative
      articles and training to support business success. Visit our
      site for 2 reports www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com right now.
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