Unlocking the Power of Networking
Mastering the Art of Business Connections Through The Power of Networking
Join Dan Smits, the founder and CEO of Growth Point Partnership, as he covers the “Power of Networking” on the Partners in Growth Podcast. With 25 years of business experience, Dan shares insights on the importance of authentic networking, from personal growth to business expansion. Discover strategies for building and nurturing a strong network, leveraging networking tools and platforms, and overcoming common challenges. Unlock the potential of networking and watch your connections propel your success.
What You’ll Learn
- Why it’s important to network for career advancement and personal growth
- How to overcome networking challenges and time management tips
- When to leverage CRM systems and LinkedIn for effective networking
Ready to unlock the power of networking and boost your business and personal growth? Contact Dan Smits at [email protected] or visit growthpointpartnership.com for more networking tips and resources. Don’t miss out on the Partners in Growth podcast for valuable insights and strategies. Subscribe today!
Growth Point Partnership presents Partners in Growth Podcast. We’re going to be talking about unlocking the power of networking. I’m Dan Smits, the founder and CEO of Growth Point Partnership, and we’ll be your host. With 25 years of owning and operating four businesses and being involved with two acquisitions within those businesses and now running two of those organizations and exiting two of those over the past five years, I know what grows companies and I know what kills the growth of companies. Let’s dive in through these podcasts into customizing your growth strategy, giving you the tips, tricks of how you move forward with different subject matters to build enterprise value that puts you in the driver’s seat for whatever obstacles come your way. We are entrepreneurs with hands-on experience and we’ll provide insights into the challenges and hard work involved in starting and growing businesses. It’s all about determination and grit. This subject today of unlocking the power of networking is a lot about determination and grit. It’s something that we’re not naturally comfortable with of Asking people to talk about their business you talking about your business and networking is not sales It’s more of an introduction and a genuine way of communicating with people so they feel like They know about you as a person They know some about your business and then they know who it is that is best for you to connect with. So we’re all trying to help each other grow businesses. And what comes around goes around, right? When you help people and you’re not selfish about networking and connecting people to other people, things come back to you, right? I was never involved in a networking group until about two years ago when I started
GrowthPoint Partnership, leveraging all my experience from years, I was in the healthcare industry and I owned a medical billing company where we did networking, but within associations with in the healthcare private practices, which is a limited market that’s ever shrinking. So we didn’t have the volume of people that now I would have in GrowthPoint Partnership. So I just joined a networking group about two years ago where I learned that I was a networker all along, just not to scale like I’m able to do now and join a group that has multiple people in it that I can help to connect them with other people. And I’ve also found that networking is not just about you getting the business, it’s about you getting vendors and relationships with people that are like-minded that help you to grow your business. So understanding networking, defining networking in different forms. There’s professional, there’s personal, there’s online, there’s offline, you can go to speed networking events, you can go to actual groups like a BNI type of group or a NIA national networking groups to really have an organized process. But there’s ones that are not as organized that you can be involved in. So explore the, you know, various benefits of networking such as career advancements. You could use it for gain experiences in public speaking, right? And personal growth of just improving your overall communication skills and how you communicate with your spouse or friends or children, however that might be. Explain the fact of how it opens doors that it really comes down to being able to put you in places that people are there for the right reasons hopefully and who knows what comes of it. You might find your next purchase of a car through your networking or purchase of a home or who knows what happens so keep an open mind and then building and nurturing your network you know how you build strategies for a strong network it really takes time I would say that I spend upwards of 10 hours a week working on my business, right? That is dedicated some of those hours towards being deliberate about networking. So I would say I spend about five hours a week on one-to-ones, which are conversations with people that they don’t have to be prospects, they are.
Contacts and you’re discovering with them of what they do and how you can help each other So I spend about two hours a week doing that I go to networking groups I spend a couple hours there. I’m following up and researching People that I want to network with I’m staying very organized through The networking process of making sure that I’m holding myself accountable
and really driving towards authenticity and building unique, genuine relationships. So really being deliberate about it. And then the advice would be nurturing your network over time, you don’t have to jolt it, it’s that consistency of that five hours a week that’s going to build that muscle towards being consistent towards doing those things that will hopefully help you to grow your business. So networking tools and platforms are different organizations that you can be a part of. The networking tools that we use is a CRM system, a Monday CRM system to keep track of all the people that I’m communicating with.
We’re using LinkedIn to do the invites. We’re, you know, inviting these people to our social media after we’ve connected with them. People I meet at events and I get their business cards. I’m logging them into my tools to make sure that I have that information available. So I’m not digging through my desk trying to find a business card, but really keeping all of those front and center.
and then doing searches within the LinkedIn to be able to say, hey, I have this person that’s looking for this type of lead, who is it that I can connect them with? And I go to my LinkedIn or I go to my CRM system, do a search and just be deliberate about how you put that information in there. Don’t be half ass about it. Make sure that you’re really honoring the fact that information…
may become useful in the future. So then the next thing would be overcoming networking challenges. So really having a plan for how you’re addressing the fact that networking takes time. So in my case, I go to a networking group, but my first contact is usually via Zoom to be able to save some time.
All right, now we’re moving on to networking tools and platforms of, you know, there’s a lot of different CRM tools and platforms to be able to store information on your different contacts and people that you’ve talked to, people you’ve had one to ones with, people that you’ve received business cards from at networking groups. Those hauls that you get that maybe aren’t you know network related they’re from your website keeping them all in one place we use monday.com there’s many different crm systems you know salesforce and you name it they’re out there and really having familiarity with how to organize things within there to make sure you’re leaving yourself notes on the conversation you have, maybe it even gets a little personal towards how many years have they been married, or where do they live, or how many children they have, or what are their hobbies? All those things are very important, so when you connect with them again, and you’re doing search within your CRM system or within your LinkedIn tools, to be able to determine who do I connect this person with that’s asking for a referral to a plumber or to a hairstylist or whatever it is that you would have enough information in there to trigger your memory to be able to say, oh yeah, I remember talking to Jill and she owns this company. So making sure that you really use tools to be able to collect that data. And then really working on overcoming networking challenges of addressing how you determine if you’re going to do a face-to-face or if you’re gonna do a Zoom call or a phone call because that’s all that works, that you don’t have a computer in front of you. You need to determine a best way to communicate with these people and time is of essence, right?
I use Zoom a lot for initial conversations. And if we really hit it off and there’s synergy there and we know that it makes sense to get together because the timing is perfect, then we’ll meet at a coffee shop. We’ll meet after a networking event if they’re related to your networking group. Or you find ways to be able to meet them to ensure you’re continuing that relationship. But a lot of times you’ll have a Zoom call and you might not connect with them for another three, six months. And then all of a sudden something comes up that it makes sense to reach out to that person and reconnect. And then at that point, you know, face to face, I’m all for face to face. That makes a lot of sense in certain cases. And then networking etiquette and best practices, you know, really knowing how you keep a conversation going and make sure that your first impression is memorable, you’re on time for your networking, you’re not dressed in your pajamas, you’re really showing that this isn’t just something you just do haphazardly, right? You are intentional about this networking and you really care about that person. You’re sharing advice and stories and you know, gracefully connecting people to them through those conversations. And then you’re leveraging your network for success. You’re really being intentional about, once you get off the call, what I do is immediately send out referrals to that person I’ve just connected with and making sure that it’s front and center because, you know, as time goes,
Of course you forget about those things. So making sure that you carve out about five or 10 minutes after your networking call or after your networking meeting, when you go to your car, send yourself an email that reminds you of who you’re gonna connect with and making sure then that you’re also continuing to refine your intro process of how you talk about yourself, how you talk about your business within your networking to make sure that everything comes across crystal clear of your messaging. Just like when you get in front of multiple people and you do your elevator speech, value proposition, whatever you refer to it as, your goals or your mission statement. Making sure you’re very intentional about what you do and the type of referral you’re looking for and then have them reciprocate by answering the same type of questions. Because I’ve done so many one-to-ones, I tend to lead the conversation unless it’s a very experienced person. On the other side of the networking, I like to be able to lead the call to make sure that both giving the most out of it, and I try to lead by example. So this is one particular area that if you become an effective networker, and I’ve met some really powerful networkers, I met one gentleman in one of my groups that does over a million dollars a year from his BNI group. Yeah, BNI, sometimes a negative, you know name or organization but it’s amazing of how dynamic this individual is with his networking and how he just wears it on his sleeve and he helps other people out and that has come back to help his company grow and people really look up to him as a networker and business leader. So if you want to know more about networking and other business subject matters. Please continue to listen to Partners in Growth podcast. Also visit us on our website at growthpointpartnership.com. You can also contact me by the show notes and my email is dan at growthpointpartnership.com. I look forward to meeting with you guys and helping you to grow your organization.
Dan Smith’s Growth Point Partnership, checking out. Thank you.