Buyers of goods and services tend to do business with people or organisations they know and trust that they will meet their needs. In most cases buyers want to do business with people they have interacted with or with people who have been recommended to them by other persons they trust. You cannot end up on the list of preferred suppliers of a given organisation unless you work very hard to put your name on the list. No one will give you business unless you have built profitable relationships with that person. Success in business therefore depends on the people or organisations you have built profitable relationship with. The different networking avenues for building profitable relationships include the following among others.
Membership of sporting clubs
It is highly recommended for you to join key clubs in your country so that you can interact with members of your top clubs. For example golf and tennis clubs members are mainly decision makers from both private and public sectors. When you are a member of a club you have an opportunity to build business relationships with all members of the club including those who are on your target list. I am a golfer and I can tell you I am able to call every member by the first name because I am a member of club.
Cocktails of other organisations
Organisers of cocktails or parties tend to invite high profile people whom they know will turn up for their function. Their aim is to ensure that their functions are attended by people who matter in both public and private sectors. You have to work hard in building your profile in order to qualify to be on the invitation list of most organisations. During the cocktail functions you have an opportunity to build relationship with as many people present at the function. It will not be long before you come to know who is who in the corporate world. Through these functions you will have access to people who matter in decision making.
Public conference and workshops
Public conferences and workshops are intended for capacity building and are also attended by high profile people from both private and public sectors. During the conferences/workshops a lot of challenges are discussed and ways to overcome them are also proposed. As a business person you should listen attentively to challenges as they create opportunities for you to exploit in order to achieve your mission. The functions also provide an opportunity for you to meet who is who in the function.
Giving public talks
You can also display your talents in through presentations at various forums. Many people will come to know you as soon as you become a regular interesting presenter at various forums. You have to ensure you prepare and present a winning presentation. You are at liberty to engage some of the participants on one to one during breaks.
Take advantage of the social media
Make maximum advantage of the social media to make yourself known to both public and private sectors. You can if you make up your mind make your name a household name. There is nothing wrong with being known provided you used it for the right purpose. You are also free to build yourself a specialised social media account and page using the various social media tools. Your social media account must support you to achieve your mission. You can also design and develop for yourself a website. For example I have built myself http://muhaise.com/ in order to use it to inspire other people to succeed in life.
Other public functions
There are quite many public functions which you can attend for networking purposes. The list is long but the following are some of them;
- Birth day parties
- Religious functions
- Alumni functions
- Old boys and Old girls associations
- Community social responsibility functions
The opportunities for building profitable relationships are quite many and the choice is yours to select which functions to attend depending on your personal preferences.
John Muhaise Bikalemesa
Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited