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FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER In many ways, success at networking is the uncommon application of common knowledge. Most people understand that networking is important to their success--they just lack a step-by-step process to get the results they want. Almost no one really implements a comprehensive methodology that will build a business through networking. Thus, the need to network is 'common knowledge,' and the development of the methodology required to be successful at it is the 'uncommon application.' By reading this book, you will experience the true essence and meaning of networking. The 29% Solution gives you the answers to two conflicting questions that a business owner or salesperson faces every day: How can I tend to my existing clients while at the same time network for new business? and, Should I place higher value on my current clients or on new
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Only about 29 percent of businesses network effectively. That’s unfortunate, because well networked companies enjoy some very attractive benefits:
Networking can help you build your word-of-mouth marketing activities, one of the most important ways to grow a business.
Networking is one of the most vibrant ways you can grow your business and enter new markets.
More than eight out of ten businesspeople belong to a networking group, making this a huge market to tap.
Networking builds social capital at the same time as it enhances and magnifies word-of-mouth recommendations.
In short, if you learn how to work the networking process well, you can serve your existing clients better and gain new clients more rapidly. To get up to speed with business networking, commit time each week to learning how to integrate networking into the way you do business. By the time you’ve gone through 52 different networking strategies over the course of a year, you’ll be much better equipped to harness networking to generate new revenue streams for your business in the future.
Don’t just sit back and admire the potential benefits of networking. Get into action and do some networking every week. Follow the 52-week plan to become skilled at business networking.
"Networking is the process of developing contacts and relationships to increase your business, enhance your knowledge, expand your sphere of influence, or serve the community. Networking for business growth must be strategic and focused. Not everyone you meet can help move your business forward—but everything you do can be driven by the intention to grow your business. The fifty-two weekly strategies will help you focus your efforts so that you’ll begin to reap the benefits of effective business networking."
Tailor the 52 weekly networking strategies to fit the "real you" rather than the idealized version of yourself that you may prefer to think about. Be clear about what you need to work on to enhance your success with business networking.
Week 1 Set networking goals
Write down what you hope to achieve from your networking activities over the coming year. This will probably include:
How much new business you plan on generating.
How many referrals you will generate each month.
What networking events you plan on attending each month.
What you want to do differently to meet your goals.
Make sure you write down your networking goals so they are clear and unambiguous.
Week 2 Block out time to network
Now you have goals in mind, you need to decide how much time you will devote to networking each week. As a rough rule of thumb, you should spend at least eight hours a week networking, and if your job is sales oriented, you probably should be spending about half your time (twenty hours a week) actively generating referrals. Schedule the time you will devote to networking each week in advance, or it will never happen. Spend this week planning how to block this time out.
Week 3 Profile your preferred client
Every business has preferred clients—people you love doing business with. Take the time this week to develop a written profile of who your ideal customers are. Write down:
Where these clients are located and other demographics.
What industry or profession they tend to be in.
What it is makes these clients stand out.
Week 4 Recruit a word-of-mouth marketing team
Now that you've clarified what your ideal clients look like, you next need to put together your own personalized marketing team to get through to these kind of people. Be selective in doing this and put together a strong team who will be able to propel your networking activities forward with vigor and enthusiasm. Ideally, you want word-of-mouth marketing team members:
Who interact with your preferred clients on a regular basis.
Who know you well and trust you.
Who are highly respected and therefore influential.
Who have firsthand experience with your offerings.
In putting together your word-of-mouth marketing team, try to get a good mix of the different types of networking personalities. Try to include:
Evangelists—people who are passionate about your offering.
Business owners—who can serve as role models.
Apostles—people who are highly skilled in some competency.
Influencers—those whose opinions are widely respected.
Week 5 Give before you get
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