On this episode of the Atlanta Small Business Show we sit down with David Burkus, best-selling author of “Friend of a Friend” and leadership expert, to discuss the importance of networking and ways to grow your network and improve your networking skills.
David says there are two primary reasons business owners should care about networking, the first is because it provides you with information. This could be information about your industry, the city you operate in, or potential customers, which leads to the second reason: leads for customers. Of course networking has always been about customer leads but David says that we need to flip the script on how we talk about networking and leads.
It’s no longer just a numbers game and simply about the people you know. Instead he says that the better approach is to understand the network that is already around you, perhaps the business community that you already operate in and its own referrals network. This will help you to find the clients who need what you have rather than putting everyone through one giant funnel. Instead, David suggests the approach of trying to sell your product or service for people you may know who are in that certain life or career stage for which your product or service is actually a good fit.
Additionally, David gives advice for business owners looking to make a great first impression at their next networking event. He suggests that business owners ditch the elevator pitch, and says that launching right into your sales proposal is not going to help. Rather, the number one thing you can do at a networking event is be interested in the other person. Asking someone questions about their work, background, interests, and getting to know them as a person is the most effective way to get to know their lifestyle and see if your products or services truly are right for them. David says the best way to come off as an interesting person is to be interested in the other person.
To hear more from David check out the full interview above or check out his website at www.davidburkus.com.
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This has been a JBF Business Media production.