Where do you find out about new products, trends and business practices? Probably from your business or personal networks.
Where can you meet large numbers of new clients or referral partners? At events that have an educational component like trade shows, industry association meetings, and continuing education courses.
You may have already benefitted from combining these two business habits without making it an intentional strategy. But if you want to get maximum leverage out of pairing your networking and educational efforts, try these tips.
Be curious. When you ask people better questions, you get better information. Show genuine interest in the people you meet at networking events. Find out what they're excited about, and you'll have a way to keep up to date any new information they have about their industry, their network, and possible connections for you.
Share knowledge. You don't have to give away all your trade secrets, but sharing useful information and contacts with people you meet will make you a valuable resource in your network. The more generous you are with helpful information, the more you build trust. And more trust means more business.
Ask for help. If you know there's an area of your business that you need more education on, ask your network. Either somebody there will be willing to help you, or they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
Toot your horn. After you have taken that course or received that certification, let your network know. More expertise makes you more professional to your network, which makes it easier for them to refer you.
Be the teacher's pet. You paid good money to get into that class or workshop, and you can assume that the instructor has knowledge you need. Make sure you network with the instructor. They may have just the contact you need to build your success.
Be the popular kid. Don't ignore your classmates. Take every learning opportunity as an extra networking opportunity. Chances are, they don't all do the exact same work that you do-which means they might make great referral partners.
Take good notes. The information you're learning will help you build your business. But it might be something other people in your network need to learn as well. Keep an ear out for ways this information might make you a better resource for your network. Don't worry-they'll pay you back.
We hope you see how combining both of these business strategies can create a synergy that multiplies the efforts of both. By making both a habit, you're growing a combined resource that gives you the connections needed know anybody or learn anything.
ACE is working on something special to help you develop both educational and networking habits to grow your business.
We'll have a BIG announcement coming soon! Watch for it in your inbox, and tell your network.
Waiting for the big announcement? Visit ACE Printing and Mailing Services, or call us at 415.460.2800. You can also visit us online at www.acepms.com