Face to Face networking, in my opinion, is key to elevating your business off the ground, making contacts and relationships for building your circle/sphere or circle of influence.
What exactly is a circle/sphere of influence?
For the purposes of Networking and Business, your circle/sphere of influence can easily be defined like this.
Business’s who are targeting the same market as you but are not in competition with you.
For example: if you are a Realtor you may want a Title Company, Mortgage Company, Property Assessor, Home Stager in your sphere of influence. Everyone is after the same client and offer different services.
Your sphere of influence, when worked as a team collaborating together, will build everyone’s business.
Collaborating with your sphere of influence is key to having it be a success.
You can organize getting together either in person or through technology meetups and brainstorm how you can offer your collective services to your potential clients.
Some of the ways I do it in my coaching business have been where I met someone who is a physical trainer. We got together and put a class on empowering your mind and body. The clients worked out their bodies and also worked out their minds.
An example of working together empowering and coaching, collaborating to give the clients added value and a great all-round experience.
Putting Your Sphere of Influence Together.
- Who is your target market?
- Build trusted relationships.
- What service would enhance your service or product?
- How would you collaborate together?
- How many services would you want in your sphere?
- Take the lead, this is your business you are aiming to build.
Your sphere should have people you like and trust to do business with. People, you, are comfortable referring to your best client. Remember your reputation is at stake when you refer another person to your client or customer.
Benefits of a Circle/Sphere of Influence
- Increase in your client base
- Known as an authority in your field of business.
- A go-to person in your networking and business circles.
- Builds your leadership skills.
- More to offer your client base than your competitors.
- Collaboration and business opportunities.
Once you have your team together set monthly or every other week meetings. The meetings do not have to take up too much time, usually an hour. When you have your first meeting it may take longer as you are all going to brainstorm how you are going to help each other.
Take the lead and set up the meetings same time, the same day so that it is easy to put in the calendar for everyone to attend every time. This consistency makes it work, also you will find out who is committed and who is not. You only want committed people in your sphere so that you all can benefit.
One of my teams, I have 3 different ones, has only 5 people in it and we brainstorm every other week for one hour. We meet face to face and for the ones who cannot they dial-in through GoTo Meeting. Consistency and commitment are key to the success of the sphere. Also not letting it get too big. We always have an agenda and we always keep to the time limit.
A good way for the sphere to keep working is to make sure you set the limit on the meeting and stick to it. Time is valuable and if you overrun your meetings then people get despondent and lose motivation.
- Encourage brainstorming
- Stay positive and motivated
- Discuss the challenges and brainstorm solutions
- Work to the strengths of each individual
- Take turns at hosting the meeting venue
Networking is an art and takes work to meet the right people that you can build trust and a working relationship with. Once you achieve this and build a sphere of influence you will see your business grow. Not only that you will also develop your communication skills, leadership skills, negotiation skills, and speaking skills.
Self-development comes in many shapes and sizes and I would advise you not to take your networking lightly. This is one of the best marketing plans you can have for your business and if worked correctly will increase your business and your profits.
Attend at least 1 networking event per week, research the networking groups and choose one that you feel good about. Remember people do business with people they like and trust.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce, statistics prove that people are likely to do business with someone who is a member of a chamber of commerce.
Please share this with others so they may benefit, thank you. Contact me if you would like to know more about the art of networking to grow your business.
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