With 2012 just days away I want to challange us all to increase our business partner network. As BESTeam members are already finding, there is certainly power in numbers. Below are two articles I have copied, they have stated the benefits so very well.
Generation of referrals /Increased business:Fact – 70% on average of all new business is gained through word of mouth and positive recommendation. As you develop your contacts and build up positive relationships with people you will find that you will naturally gain business and sales leads as people recommend your services. People like to pass business to those they know, like and trust. But this will only happen if you have a network of contacts in the first place.
Raising your profile: Just by expanding your contacts you are raising your profile – people now you exist and know what you do and you will more likely to be thought of if your products or services are required.
Free consultancy and advice: Generally, people like to help people and are willing to impart their expertise and advice to others who they have got to know, like and trust. You will find that as you build relationships with people the value of the help that is passed to you formally or informally will exceed any costs incurred by developing the relationships in the first place.
Knowing who to turn to when you need help: The benefits of business networking are not just about generating sales leads and referrals. How much time have you wasted in the past trying to find the right person or business to solve a problem for you? Have you resorted to looking in the local telephone book for a service or plucked a name off the internet only to be disappointed with the product or service provided? By getting to know reliable contacts who can provide you with what you want or who can be trusted to recommend others is worth so much in terms of your time and money.
Break down barriers to success:As you develop your contacts you start to find people who have experienced similar problems to yourself and who can point you in the right direction. All of a sudden so much more is possible and you will find yourself achieving so much more than you will have imagined.
Uncover new opportunities: You just ‘don’t know what you don’t know’. The same goes for business networking – you never know when a contact will be useful and will present you with new opportunities. If we restrict ourselves to our own narrow network of contacts we become comfortable and limit our ideas. As soon as we get to know others and become open minded to their ideas we suddenly open ourselves up to new possibilities, perhaps a new approach to doing something or even a new business venture which we may never otherwise have thought of.
Contact with like-minded individuals and development of friendships: One basic human need is to feel connected with like-minded individuals. By extending your contacts and getting to know them you’ll soon develop a network of people you will want to spend time with, share ideas with and learn from. One of the key benefits of business networking is that I’ve personally gained a number of really good friends I can now turn to even though initially the purpose was for business.
Increased confidence: The more you network the more you get used to explaining what you do and how you can help others. Clear communication of how you can help is crucial to winning business and this will only improve the more you do.
Satisfaction from helping others : Last but by no means least, one of the biggest advantages of networking in business is the increased capacity to help others. Have you ever thought just how good it feels when you have helped someone whether it is by saving them time and effort by providing them with a useful contact, passing someone a referral or directly giving someone a piece of useful advice? The benefits of business networking just keep on coming!
Personal Networking is something that really has unlimited advantages. The expansion of your relationship base can only serve to help you in the long run. Whether the goal is personal improvement or business expansion, continual and consistent networking will benefit you.
While there are a great many benefits with networking, one of the most beneficial is creating awareness. If your goal is to expand your business and gain market, awareness is an absolute necessity. You must be top of mind to be in the discussion process for prospective clients. If you aren’t in the the equation, you cannot be selected.
Awareness also serves as a benefit when you are looking for a job, needing help with a project, or simply desire to expand your circle of influence. In an economic environment that has a high level of unemployment, there are going to be more people vying for the same jobs. Networking and creating awareness for yourself, will allow you to have more chances to gain employment.
Proper and timely networking will lead to an increased opportunity for income generation. Income generation can mean selling more products or services or simply obtaining a new job. This Income is created through speaking to and meeting new people that have a desire to gain something from what you offer. This can only occur through putting yourself out there and meeting new people.
This is something of tremendous benefit that is one of the more commonly left out networking benefits. The ability to gain new knowledge from another person is huge. New ideas can reveal benefits of your existing product or service that you didn’t think of. It can be a different perspective on the current marketing angle you are using, or it be a whole new position about what you are doing.
The ability to gain a new perspective is crucial. Networking provides the opportunity to test market your ideas to people. A third party can be a great benefit as they have nothing personally invested in you. At times, people can be too close to a situation, and they can get blinded by their own “good” ideas. Allow yourself the opportunity to increase your success odds by speaking to others.
When you take the step of advancing your current circle of influence, you vastly increase your chances of having new opportunities offered to you. Opportunities can be for business, pleasure, personal growth, career advancement, or simply just knowledge. One of the worlds greatest business minds, Dale Carnegie, once said, “Smart business people understand the value of networking. Put simply, expanding your contacts improves your chances to build good relationships, discover leads and generate increased sales.”