Family of Coatings Canton, OH

Archive for April, 2013

Networking, a waste of time?

Networking, Why?
Is it worth all the trouble?
We are A simple Image Canton Ohio business that supplies painting, pressure washing and deck refinishing.  We have six employees who basically Love their job.  You might ask, what does that have to do with networking. We have been around for sixteen years and entering into our third record year in a row! We do not advertise in the local phone books and our advertising is 1/3 cost of what it was five years ago. 
We have set our goals to produce the best product to our specific client at the lowest cost for what we do.  Creating true Value for our client.  They know us and trust us.  
All said, we are networking every day. If there is an event that makes sense to us and correlates with our goals, we are there.  Our networking is based around weekly meetings and gatherings of the three Chamber of Commerce we belong to as well as our Local Chapter of BNI, and  anything that will introduce us to great businesses. 
Why we use networking in our business is not directly money related but referral based.  We feel the networking we do will give us the opportunity to refer the best businesses in our area. The secondary thing would be that they refer us as we’ll.  Who we refer is valuable enough to us that we spend a big percent of our income for developing associations with the people we network with.  We must develop a trust that only comes from knowing one another. 
 We do not go to any function to pass out our coveted business cards.  We don’t strike up a conversation to see how we can sell someone our business.  When we introduce ourselves to you, our first action is to learn about you and your business.  We want to learn if there is any connection between us that may lead to helping your business.  That my friend is much more satisfying then shoving my card into your pocket and telling you to call me because we can solve all your problems or sell you the greatest product since the iPhone!
The next time your in a networking event, use the two pocket system. One pocket is for the businesses we really want to know and grow with. One we feel we can develop a lasting relationship with.  The second Pocket is for the cards shoved in my face and you need us business card.  I take one back to the office and start working on ways to make the right connection for our clients , the other usually doesn’t make it out the door.  
You can figure which is which and sooner or later you’ll see the benefits of great networking.  Thank you.