By Tim Lawlor
Associate publisher, Ottawa Construction News.
As we all struggle to build or increase our businesses, the single most import factor is contacts and networking. SSN has a great approach, with a mission to help business professionals in all industries understand networking needs, strategically grow the business network around those needs to increase their quality of referrals/leads, brand awareness and revenues. I encourage you to visit their website to see how they can help you too!
I came across this great blog entry (February 2013) from Stimulus Strategies Networking (SSN) at www.ssnetworking.ca and have received permission to reprint some excerpts.
Growing your business network contributes to business growth, both of which are dependent on time and effort. More importantly, it requires a strategy that is specifically geared towards growing your network, not just for the sake of networking. Any business professional who is intent on generating exposure to their business must be willing to apply the techniques to ensure the desired level of exposure. Not everyone who shows up to networking events is an experienced networker; not everyone who counts networking as a crucial part of their business possesses the traits of a networker; the scenarios go on. However, there are some intangible characteristics that (if adorned) will allow any business professional to experience growth in their business network.
Willingness to learn
Synonyms for learn include study and exercise. These two words augment the meaning of learn because they demonstrate repetition, consistency, and participation. So from a business networking perspective, there are certain things that must be done consistently in order to grow your business network, and these things must be learned. This is just a preliminary step. The next critical element is willingness to change.
Willingness to change
Change is concomitant with learning. There are two parts to this concept – willingness to accept change and willingness to make changes. The former refers to the changes that occur naturally as a result of learning. The latter refers to changes that must be imposed intentionally. Learning something new generally leads to a degree of transformation. Once you learn a better way of doing things, you have changed how you think and operate.
Willingness to excel
This is the stage where growth and transformation is demonstrated. But it is important to note that you do not naturally excel because you have the tools. Sometimes talented individuals become hesitant about stepping onto the main stage. Once you have the tools to excel then you must choose to excel. Set goals and go after them
While many business professionals have certain qualities that make them extraordinary, the ones who possess the ability to excel are ones who spend time learning and getting better. Getting better is a sure sign of change, but it’s just a part of the transformation. If you want to grow your business network, you should put yourself in an environment where you are given tools that will allow you to excel, then be willing to excel. In other words commit to a strategic business networking platform, where you will be exposed to quality learning opportunities that will allow you to expand your business.