With the advent of Facebook, LinkedIn, et al, many businesses and to a lesser extent customers are seeing the importance of both virtual and actual business networks but such importance needs to be highlighted on a greater scale since there are numerous benefits that can be gained.
Some of the most popular Benefits that Business Owners and their Businesses can achieve through Business Networks and successful Business Networking include:-
- Receiving advice on how to solve particular issues based on the fact that other person(s) within the Business Network would have most likely encountered the same or similar situation.
- Gaining feedback from customers regarding existing products and services. From this information, businesses will be aware of whether they are falling short of customer expectations or are meeting customer expectations.
- Gaining a clear understanding of customers’ needs, wants and desires so that particular products and services can be created or adjusted to meet such wants, etc.
- Getting much needed high-quality exposure for products and services based on the fact that potential customers within the Business Network will be made aware of the business’ existence. In addition, if you are successful in wooing these potential customers then they will be instrumental in marketing your products and services among family, friends, etc. Most importantly, though, is that an increase in exposure ultimately results in an increase in sales and sales revenue for the business.
While some of the Benefits existing and potential customers/clients can attain include:-
- A complete knowledge on a variety of products and services. Customers can then utilize this knowledge to determine which products and services offer the best value for money.
- An awareness of which companies are offering “deals” which might take the form of discounts or giveaways, etc. and what the customer will need to do to take advantage of such “deals”.
- Better and improved products and services by enlightening businesses when their products and services fall short of their expectations.
Though there are several benefits that can be realized from successful Business Networking, one must not focus solely on what they can gain but must understand that much more is gained when one listens and tries to resolve the problems of others firstly.
BUILDING A BUSINESS NETWORK
First of all, make up a plan which will not only provide you temporary results. Think of ways wherein you will be able to enjoy the results for a long time. Long term results will require thorough planning and continuous execution of plans and methods. You can stay connected with your networks by simply sending them tools which will keep them updated with you like newsletters, press releases and simple update letters. By doing this, you will keep your network intact and your business benefiting from it.
Bring in value to your customers showing them that what you are offering is something that they will be able to find useful. By showing the value of your business to your clients, you are building a good reputation for your business and products. And with this, you will be able to get referrals making the network bigger and better. People will know your business and products as something good and useful for them which will give you loyal clients in the end.
Establish rapport and connection. Once you have obtained a new client, make sure that you stay connected with them all the way. Do not send them sales message or any form that will make them feel that you are pushing your products too much. Just make them feel that you are updating them with what has been happening to your business. This will make them feel comfortable dealing with you. This will also make them feel important to your business. Once these clients feel that they have that certain connection to you, you will surely be getting lots of referrals from these clients.
The business networking plan that you are following can either make or break your business. Make sure that you carefully planned and studied your options so that you can have a successful networking scheme going on for your business. This requires thorough research, studies, time and effort. But once you have found the right formula to achieve a good network, your business will surely benefit much from it.