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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Super Networking

Been reading in recent Inc Mag articles recently and found this one by Scott Gerber that was on point.  Answering the question:  How to I become a value added networker?    He calls it a master networker. This is particularly of value to the small and medium size business that does not have lots of resources to spend having this connectivity professionally done.    I add here my own thoughts:

In my case I did not suffer from having a small network,  or not enough people willing to talk to.  What I did not have was enough people willing to convert my skill and connections to paying work.  Its the old sales question:  How do make the conversion of just talk to sales?

The video makes some suggestions that are obvious, but is always worth repeating.  First, make sure you have a useful value proposition for the business involved.  Real value.   This is often different for different size businesses.  What you can provide coming from a big enterprise was that was successful using you expertise is  a tried and true method at much less cost.

Next,  once you have identified a potential user of your capabilities:  Connect/Meet and Repeat.   Build trust, start small, and show intermediate value.  I like to use visual charting methods to describe how you can understand their business and increase their value.   Start with the simplest methods.  Build to complex analytics.  Always measure and show results with a followup.

Make sure you have a useful online presence, no matter how small you are.   A web site is good.  A blog   or twitter presence also helps, because it shows you are active in your area of expertise.  Post presentations, invitations to meet at local conferences, offer to talk at group meetings.

Keep connecting!

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines  of a smarter planet. More here.  

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