Posts Tagged ‘networking’

Get Networking Working – The benefits to a disabled entrepreneur

disabled people networkingWhen I set up my first business I knew the importance of networking but knew very little else! My inexperience and lack of knowledge, coupled with my disability made my attempts hit and miss, heavy on the miss!

I found networking events really difficult initially and my sight loss did not help. I would now go as far as to say that I am better at it than many of my sighted counterparts these days. I have learned ways to make it work for me and I would like to share them.

Obviously, I don’t have all the answers and different disabilities pose different challenges but a disability need not always be a barrier and can sometimes be turned into an advantage.

Firstly, if you don’t like networking you are probably in good company. It is worth remembering that few people are natural networkers, like anything it requires some preparation and experience .

Before you begin any kind of networking it is important to understand that networking is more about giving than receiving and it is all about building relationships. Once you realise that networking is not all about direct selling it seems instantly a lot less painful.

I used to think that if I didn’t leave a networking event with someone prepared to book my services then my time had been wasted and I had failed. Once I understood the principle of using networking events, and generally meeting people, as an opportunity to begin to build a relationship with a potential client then the pressure immediately disappeared and I began to create real opportunities for my business.

Here are my top ten tips on getting networking working:

1. You Are Your Business

Remember, people do business with people they know, like and trust. Because networking is all about building relationships, people are often buying into you rather than into your business. You are likely to be the person they deal with so you need to think carefully how you present yourself and you should consider what potential clients expectations are.

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