Visible or Invisible Networking

By joanne | 13th November | Marketing Ideas, Marketing Skills, Marketing Training

As members of BNI (Business Network International), we’ve long been taught the importance of three crucial steps in networking:

  • Visibility
  • Credibility
  • Profitability

It’s fair to say that without visibility, you can’t be credible and without credibility, it’s very difficult to be profitable.  But, how do you get the right kind of visibility for your business and ensure you’re remembered for the right reasons?

This week we’ve been focusing on the importance of first impressions – networking can be a great way to meet new people face to face, but you need to be sure you take advantage of it…

You will no doubt have met people at networking events who make some of the following mistakes:

  • Invading your personal space
  • Shaking hands with their business card
  • Only talking about themselves
  • Trying to sell to you
  • Asking for your business card and then spamming you for the rest of your life

We attended a Referral Institute Conference recently and one of the speakers described this as Invisibility or Irritability Networking.  People who do these things certainly leave an impression, but it isn’t a favourable one.

If you are using networking as a marketing tool, remember most people won’t buy from you when they’ve just met you.  And they’re even less likely to refer you to someone else and put their reputation on the line.  In order to be visible, people have to have contact with you a number of times.  You could keep in touch using some of the following ideas:

  • Follow-up the initial contact
  • Arrange another meeting / telephone call
  • Send them something useful
  • Invite them to a relevant event
  • Help them in some way

By helping people, you become more visible.  And…what goes around, comes around.  BNI has a principle called Giver’s Gain and it really works!

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