Since the beginning of time business owners searching for ways to sell more, reach new customers and penetrate new markets. In medieval times, merchants and lords sent messengers on sea or land voyages to new markets to offer their goods and find new goods to import. Messengers would reach new territories, spread the rumor about their goods and that they are now available, and engage in local distributions partnerships.
Almost 4 decades ago, several organizations were established to arrange regular meetings for businesses and entrepreneurs from different sectors to come and help each other. The general idea was that friend A and B meet regularly to learn a bit about one another. Afterward, they meet outside of the group to get to know each other better, both personally as well as professionally. Once they form a personal and professional connection, they feel confident to refer potential customers. The networking friends are transformed into brand ambassadors and act as outsourced marketing people. This is what Business Networking is all about.
New groups of business owners were established all around the world. These groups are meeting regularly (on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis) for the sole purpose of mutual assistance and referrals. Group members constantly think about their networking friends and how they can refer people to them. They do it during the meetings when they speak about their services, and between the meetings whenever they hear about a friend or a family member seeking a service or a product. If they feel there is a good fit, they would make the introduction between them and try to assist both sides as much as they can.
In future entries we’ll dive into networking, and discuss what we need to do to make sure we do it effectively.