FORD for Networking
Small business means you are in the people business, and networking is a big part of a marketing program. The key to a successful networking event is not how many business cards you gave out or the number you receive. The key is how many quality relationships you established.
Establishing one or two quality relationships at a networking event makes it, in my mind, a successful endeavor. Quality relationships are built not on the product or service you offer, but upon the formation of a genuine bond between two people. This can only happen if the right questions are asked. There are many ways to engage in a relationship-building conversation.
I keep the word FORD in my mind at networking functions and try to find out the following about the person with whom I am talking: Family – Occupation – Recreation – Dreams. I may use another question to start, “Tell me your story.” Eventually we get back to the FORD information.
No, not everybody I talk to is someone I want as a friend first, but the majority of the people are willing to get off the traditional roller coaster work freeway and come away with several connections that are worth their weight in gold.
“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
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