The Richest people in the world look for, and build NETWORKS. Everyone else looks for work.

~Robert Kiysoaki

How true is this?

In fact, we are all on LinkedIn to network. However, in generating business leads, it’s not about who you know, but more about who knows you. So the question is, do the people you want to do business with, know you?

Networking by its definition is about promoting pathways to success, by connecting with other business people in order to further each other’s business interest. Forming mutually beneficial business relationships.
So, if we can all agree, people will only do business with those they Know, Like, and Trust, why aren’t more people actively networking?

Here are some facts to support more active connecting towards the common goal of surviving this economic downturn.

According to the January 8, 2016 Treasury Board and Finance report “Economics and Revenue Forecasting” Alberta lost 63,500 jobs in the first eight months of 2015, the largest since the same period in 2009. Alberta’s employment declined by 3,900 in December 2015, adding to the 25,700 losses in the previous two months. Over 2015, the unemployment rate increased by 2.5 percentage points and averaged 6.0% for the year.

Not such good news, but what that tells me is, as business owners, we’ve been there before, and if we pull together, as we have in the past, we will get through it this time as well.

According to Forbes Magazine, the best source of new business is referrals from happy clients. You cannot receive a better lead than one sent your way with a strong referral. You cannot have a more motivated prospect arrive than someone sent there by a raving fan.

The challenge is: How do you get satisfied customers to actively promote you to their social and professional networks?

Constantly ask for referrals. And do this in the midst of delivering excellent service, while still actively involved with the client. You deliver great value and want more people to benefit, so ask “who do you know…?”

Build a centers of influence (COI) circle consisting of people happy to refer you to others.

Make sure your COI know what kind of businesses you’re interested in servicing. If your network doesn’t know what kind of clients you are interested in, you may spin your wheels on non-productive, non money-making leads.

So, practicing what I preach, if you know of a business owner in need of a strategically designed, constantly serviced, inclusive benefit plan, please send them my way.

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