Business Networking: Why You Should Focus on Quality Relationships

Business networking is an integral part of developing a successful business. It can help you connect with new customers, expand your reach, and learn from others in your industry. However, networking is not a one-size-fits-all activity. It would help if you focused on quality relationships to see actual results. This blog post will discuss why quality relationships are meaningful in networking and how you can build them!

1. Networking is an essential part of any business

As an entrepreneur, networking is key to your success. You need to be constantly meeting new people and building relationships with them. But not all relationships are created equal. It would be best if you focused on quality relationships over quantity.

2. Quality relationships are the key to networking success

OK! You’ve joined a business networking group, and the referrals will roll in, right? Nope! People can’t refer you if you don’t take the time to get to know them. Beyond business talk, getting to know one another personally is essential. Have lunch or coffee. Text here and there. Quality relationships need to be nurtured.

3. How do you build quality relationships in networking

You can do a few things to ensure your relationships are high quality in networking.

First, ensure you’re interested in getting to know the person, not just their business. Take the time to learn about them as a person, not just what they do.

Second, be genuine in your interactions. People can see through someone trying to use them, so don’t be that person. Go a step further. Find out what they’re looking for (whether that’s a business networking connection or a new barber) and help them find it.

Third, keep in touch even when you’re not actively networking. Send a holiday card, check in every once per month, or support them on social media. Little things like this will go a long way in maintaining quality relationships.

4. Get out there!

  1. Join groups or organizations that align with your interests.

One of the best ways to start building quality relationships is to join groups or organizations that align with your interests. This will help you find people who share your passions and goals, and it’ll be easier to build a relationship with them if you have something in common. If you volunteer, you might want to volunteer for different organizations in your local community and find others who love volunteering.

2. Search for networking groups or events focusing on your industry or niche.

Searching for networking groups or events is a great way to find them if you’re looking to meet other professionals in your industry or niche. You can usually find these online or ask people in your network if they know of any.

Attending group meetings, happy hours, lunches, and coffees are all excellent ways to get quality face time with potential new friends. My local chamber has two lunches per month where it’s casual, and you can mingle (no pressure) with people you haven’t met. Don’t worry about your 30-second pitch. Focus on listening and being yourself.

When you’re meeting someone for the first time, exchange numbers to keep in touch later, and lastly, don’t forget to follow up! Please email or connect with them on social media and let them know it was nice meeting them.

Reflection

Now that you’ve been networking in differing circles, assessing if the group is the right fit for you is essential. If you enjoy the people, have similar values, and know you can help one another, incredible!

Time Sensitive

I’m a busy mom and working parent. I don’t have time to network as often as a single college grad. Therefore, I have to consider my groups and connections wisely. I like a variety of stimulation (behind 30-second commercials) and people with similar values, and I know at most that I can nurture not more than 50 people comfortably. Why 50? I considered the groups I love to participate in. You must analyze each group and focus on whether or not they’re helping you grow. Here are my groups.

Monday – Accountability Group with ~15 people per meeting. We share our goals and commit to them.

Tuesday – Mastermind Group ~ 15 people. We have a subject to discuss/learn more about at the beginning of the meeting, have a featured speaker portion, and then do our 60-second commercials. I contribute business-related blog articles, take part in the annual Holiday Showcase, and we share one another’s LinkedIn Posts.

Thursday – Chamber Committee ~ ten people. Volunteer with like-minded professionals and prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We have a text chain and support one another through our ups and downs. We also partner to host a quarterly Colorful Conversations Series with a big following on YouTube.

Thursday – Business Networking Group ~15 people. We have a solid agenda which is excellent because it keeps us on task. We prioritize building relationships with one another. And we focus on giving one another referrals. This is a team-oriented approach with a leadership team DEI committee. We also take part in continual learning, growing our network by inviting guests and presenting our work.

Nurturing my people

When you enjoy your friends, you know you want to introduce them to your other friends and have everyone get to know one another. That’s what I strive to do. As I present my people, I expand my circle, and eventually, I get seen as the connector. Or, people know me as the one who knows “everyone.” It’s a great place to be!

Once I find “my people,” does that mean I can stop networking?

No! Keep going. But I’d say rather than finding another group, participate even more in the groups you enjoy now. Volunteer and stand up as a leader. When new people come in, that’s great! You have the opportunity to welcome them into the group. If you make a solid connection, that’s perfect! But if you don’t, no big deal. We’re not everyone’s cup of tea. Having the top 40-50 people you can nurture consistency with joy is more than enough.

In Conclusion

Networking is essential for business growth, increasing sales, and attracting success. Knowing where to start or how to make the most of your time can be challenging. By focusing on quality relationships in various circles, you can maximize your networking potential while staying true to your values. Follow up with new contacts and nurture your relationships, and you’ll soon see the benefits of solid networking connections in your business endeavors.

And finally, would you like to network with me? One of my favorite groups is my online noon Thursday group. Please reach out to me if you would like to be my guest. In addition, if you’d like a free consultation, please use this link to apply. Thanks!

Published by Janet Johnson, MBA | Small Business Coach

Janet Johnson is the author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Finding & Making More Money. Before becoming a coach, Janet gained seventeen years of experience in a family-owned manufacturing company. She also trained small business owners in Financial Management and Lean Enterprise through contracts with the State of Connecticut and the Small Business Administration for seven years.

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