Networking can be valuable to you personally and
professionally. Local networking functions such as
your REAP Association or roundtable meetings, Chamber
of Commerce meetings, PTA meetings, other
organizational involvement, and holiday parties can be
a great way for you to gather valuable information.
What’s to Gain?
The benefits of effective networking abound. For you,
maybe it will be:
- A sale
- An appointment
- New contacts /leads
- Resource information that may help your business
or a current project
- Making a new friend
- Just fun
Make the Most of Your 20 Seconds
It’s important to be ready with your introduction or
10 -20 second sound bite about what you do and what
your company can do. Of course, you should include who
you are and what your business does in your
Your message or introduction should be concise and
easily communicated. It could include a statement
about your “unique selling proposition,” USP, which is
a distinct idea that sets your business apart. For
“Hi, I’m Joe Smith and I run Smith Cleaning Service.
We help our busy customers keep their nice homes clean
and looking great!”
Then be ready to describe more about your service if
asked, and provide a business card or flyer to this
potential customer and an extra one for them to pass
along to someone they know who could be your customer!
Keep the Conversation Going
Phrasing the right questions and keeping the
conversation going will add to your effectiveness in
gaining value from every contact. Ask questions such
- “Who do you know who…?”
- “What do you recommend?”
- “How could what I offer support or benefit you?”
- “What’s the biggest obstacle (fear, concern) you
face in your business (or family, neighborhood)?”
- “Do you have a contact in …? Who should I call?”
Every contact is a chance for you to grow, develop,
learn, and prosper. Through your networking
experiences, you can become proficient in gaining
value from every contact.
The 10 Commandments of Networking
REAP has a 25-minute networking video in our library
for you to check out. This video highlights the 10
Commandments of Networking, listed below.
- Thou shall not act like the Lone Ranger. All
successful people form a strong network.
- Thou shall honor your relationships.
- Thou shall acknowledge people.
- Thou shall become a resource for others.
- Thou shall take the initiative.
- Thou shall be your own PR person.
- Thou shall ask for what you want.
- Thou shall expand thy horizons.
- Give unto others as you would have them give
- Networking shall be thy way of life.
Now take some time to network and discuss!!!
Roundtable Discussion Questions
- What changes can your REAP Association and/or
Roundtable group make to help improve the networking
value members receive from the group? For example,
do you allow time for members to give their 20
second sound bite? Do you ask if members have
business issues they would like to have help with or
- Take a couple of minutes and allow everyone time
to jot down their 20 second commercial. Pair off in
small groups and share these. Help each other
critique and tweak them for conciseness and
effectiveness. Come back as a group and share the
commercials around the room. Plan to say your
commercial during the introductions at every
meeting. Help new members prepare theirs.
Write your “Business Introduction /20 second
sound bite below:
Excerpts of the above are from: Janet Drez, “A Perfect
Solution, Home-Based Business Tip of the Week”.