Why You Need A Networking Pro For Your Business Development

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You're in business? Then you're in networking. The more often you do it the better you get - but why not get tips from a professional that can help your company develop & create meaningful connections?

Are you in a business where you interact daily with people? Then you are in the business of networking.
Are you in a business where people need to be motivated and work as a team? Then you are in the business of networking. Are you in a business where relations between partners matter? Then you are in the business of networking!

Networking As Part Of Providing Value

There is one thing that always astonishes me when I meet professionals that understand the power of networking in business. I was first exposed to that when I started reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie about a decade ago. Every great networking professional I meet has the same fire burning inside him; the fire of helping people to find a meaningful life.

This is where the heart of networking beats, in succeeding to provide value to others so they can live a life full of progress. And when you have this fire inside you, then there is something that is crystal clear: networking is something that happens 24/7. In order to be as productive (productive – not just efficient) as possible networking professionals need to understand the basic mechanisms of networking and then they need to dig deeper, try and fail many times till they develop their own system to network. It takes time but when they do, they become a valuable asset for any business in three main ways.

Creating Meaningful Connections

As Robert Kiyosaki said “The richest people in this world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work”. A networking pro, has mastered the game of creating connections. A normal business development manager would work 8-9 hours per day, will send hundreds of emails and will call tens of potential partners. Then he will leave work and rest for the night; his job is done.

A networking pro, working as a business development manager, will be radically different. He will send the emails and he will give the calls, but he will also invite the potential partners for dinner with their families at his house. Why? Because he knows that by diving at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs he can create the robust connections that business needs. He knows that if you connect over family, health, food and money you have created a strong connection that will last over time. For this reason, he will try to help not only his business and his partner’s business, but also he will dig deeper and find a way to help his partner’s family, he will find out what are the personal dreams and passions of that person.

Business partnerships that are based in bonds stronger than just a contract have the perspective to create more value during their lifetime. Hire those professionals for your business and you will see why some people say: business development is what you need to worry about when you cannot create valuable connections.

Finding The Right Person

There is a second reason why networking pros are the right choice for a strong business development unit. They have mastered the game of getting to the right person. Now, again, a usual business development manager, will try to initiate conversations with potential partners and will reach out for referrals if possible.

A networking pro will play differently. She will not just send an email, she will track it so she can know if the email was opened. You need to send a completely different email if you know that the person has read your email and did not respond than if the other person hasn’t even opened the email. She will track the links and the attachments to understand what that person is interested in and will build the follow up over the points of interest of that individual. She also understands the barriers. She knows for example that in every big company the secretaries are the gatekeepers. Sometimes a proposal that must be seen by the CEO to be understood will just end up in the business development or human resources department and be completely lost.

But there are protocols, and in some companies just the simple mention of the name of the CEO or another executive is enough to force the gatekeepers to CC him. Networking pros know those tricks and more. Moreover, networking pros will not only search to their network to find common connections to give referrals. They will play with different sities (like this one), they will discover the partners, the clients and the investors of the company they are trying to approach and will check if there is a way to create an easy connection with some of those. This way they create the contacts that will give the referrals. Networking pros know how to build the bridges your company needs, make sure to hunt them down and bring them to your company; it can create a huge difference.

Information Is Key

Networking pros have also mastered one more game; the game of information hubs. Information can come from everywhere and you need to have ears in many different places. Networking pros have realized that and they know how to build a network that has three qualities: depth, diversity and robustness. In order to be all in the same page: a deep network gives you the ability to contact a person through many different people; a diverse network helps you take advantage of synergies by connecting with professionals of different industries; and a robust network is a network that you can count on, the people that will respond to your emails and phone calls.

In order to build that network so you can collect all necessary and important information, you need to be a productivity and automation master. The reason is simple. People forget you. If you don’t manage to find a way to consistently appear in their radars by providing value for them, you might as well have never met them. A networking pro makes use of automation tools to spread value over time, capitalizes on the effects of digital and physical reminders, creates “bags of gifts” for his networking connections (a collection of material, lists, links etc that can be helpful for his contacts in a personal or professional level) and makes a priority to build up a networking plan, exactly as others would build a business plan or an action plan.

As Reid Hoffman said, opportunities are attached to people. Bring to your business the people who have mastered the game of making connections, getting to the right person and the game of information hubs. They can build the business relationships, they can build the bridges and they can build the information channels your company needs.



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