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Entrepreneur Networking Knowledge: It’s Not ‘How’ Many, It’s ‘Who’ Many

When it comes to entrepreneur networking groups, the best networkers know how to make truly meaningful connections by following four key rules. 

In today’s world, networking by simply passing out business cards is, well, passé. As the saying goes, "It's not how many, it's who many." In other words, quality over quantity is the key to building relationships that can also build your business – especially for entrepreneurs. The most effective networkers accomplish this by concentrating on cultivating connections by following four key rules:

1. Seek Out Right-Fit Clients or Customers: Casting a wide net might seem like it’ll get you more fish – but how many will you eventually toss back? Instead of rushing to gather as many potential leads as possible at any given event, shift your focus to establishing strong initial connections with fewer ideal individuals. Building strong relationships with well-matched clients, customers, and colleagues can lead to repeat business, referrals, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations, which are often more valuable than a larger but less engaged customer base.

2. Develop Strategic Partnerships: Networking business-to-business can amplify the benefits of networking individual-to-individual. The right partnership can open new opportunities, expand your reach into additional markets or demographics, and enhance the credibility of your organization. However, the magic happens only when both sides of the partnership are aligned in values and objectives – otherwise, you risk wasting valuable time and resources. Once again, it’s about building relationships, rather than seeking a quick fix.

3. Choose a Supportive Community: The number of networking opportunities, especially for women in business, seems to grow every day. It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of weekly coffee hours and lunch hours and cocktail hours, dashing across the city while spinning your wheels. How about investing your time with one or two select groups, instead? Seek out the organizations that can offer valuable tools, advice, and resources, while providing you with the encouragement, inspiration, and opportunities you need to succeed in business.

4. Always Give First: “A network is built through the reciprocal process of giving and sharing referrals, contacts, information, business, leads, ideas, resources, and advice,” says eWomenNetwork’s Founder and CEO, Sandra Yancey. “At its most powerful, it is built on the foundation of giving first.” When you meet a new contact, remember that networking is a two-way street. Before you make your own requests, ask yourself, “How can I lend my expertise, connections, or recommendations in this situation?”

In closing, by focusing on the quality of your connections rather than the quantity, you can build a strong network to significantly benefit your bottom line. Here at eWomenNetwork, we take pride in hosting business-building events across the country and around the world, connecting members with potential new customers in a supportive and empowering environment. Not a member? Join Today or Start a Chapter in your city!

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