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Business Networking: Is it worth it for your business?

August 18, 2010

As I head off to a Fishers Chamber of Commerce luncheon today I sometimes ask myself if business networking is worth it for my business? And the answer has to be yes. But that yes doesn’t come easily. I like to call any type of networking “sweat equity marketing.” Meaning you can’t just plunk down your membership fee, sit down and expect business to fall into your lap instantly or at all.

Instead join professional organizations with longevity in mind and roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s how you’ll get business. Some ways that you can work your “sweat equity marketing” is to volunteer to take on a leadership role. For instance, I quickly realized that the best way to become more familiar and more valuable to the Fishers Chamber of Commerce was to volunteer to be one of their Ambassadors. As an ambassador we help new members at events feel more welcome and show them the ropes. We represent the chamber as leaders and go to people whenever a member needs anything and we extend our time and sometimes our talent when needed to help the chamber maintain and even grow their organization. And we commit to attending atleast six events per year.

What do you get out of it? You begin to naturally build relationships with professionals who live in or near your town or city and people get to know, like and trust you. So when they do need your product or service they think of and choose you and your company first.

It doesn’t happen overnight and may not happen for the first six months of your membership. But eventually it will happen. So the next time you attend a professional networking event ask yourself, “What can I do to make business networking worth it for my business?”

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