Networking For Your Farming Business Success
Networking is connecting with people in order to make good things happen. Networking offers a host of benefits to those who partake in it, the two most obvious being the opportunity to promote your products or services and the opportunity for you to learn from your peers. These two benefits are the primary reasons that organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce, the Rotary, and Toastmasters etc exist.
But wait. Before you run out and join your local business organizations, think about using the networks you already have. Your friends, your relatwes, your alma mater, your church, your children’s school, and the social organizations you belong to are all viable networks. With a little priming (being proactwe). many of your existing networks will be happy to give your product or service a try. All you have to do is initiate the priming.
This priming can come in many forms — a telephone call, a flyer in the mail, or even a casual mention during a conversation following a school event. All these are viable parts of the network priming process and all are available at little cost.
Be thoughtful and careful when networking with the people you know. People are busy and bombarded daily (aren’t you?) with tons of advertising and solicitations. The last thing most people want is to be accosted by a pushy salespersonin what they thought were the friendly and safe confines of a school or church. Start with a low-key approach: Assemble a one page summary or a simple flyer of your company’s products or services, aad mail them to people you know.
You can improve your network priming with these additional tips:
1. At the beginning of every year, make a goal for yourself to add one or more network to your current inventory.
2. Make sure that you have a professional-looking business card and don’t be shy about handing it out.
3. Be sure to follow up every networking opportunity. A telephone call or a letter the next day will remind your networking prospects of your business, in addition to giving them the impression that you go about managing it professionally.
4. Remember that networking works both ways. Help another small business within your network, and you can usually expect that the other business will eventually help you. Such is the basis for successful networking.
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