Networking is the most essential tip I can give any business owner for growing their business. Yet, doing it right is an art form. If you aren’t a natural negotiator or charismatic sales person, networking can feel downright scary. For others, it is simply terrifying.
The benefits from professional networking are something you can’t put a price tag on. This blog is the third and final post in my master series on networking. You can find links to post one and two at the bottom of this blog post.
Building genuine business relationships is the #1 tip I can give any business owner for growing their business.
The benefits from business networking are something you cannot put a price tag on; it is essential to have community, support and strategic alliances.
I am a member of BNI. It’s an international networking organization and is the most successful networking organization of its kind. One of the perks is access to a massive library of education and business development resources. It goes without saying that I am like a kid in a candy store as a self-confessed personal and professional development junkie!!
While listening to a podcast by the founder Ivan Meisner, I learned about the VCP process.
What the heck is VCP?
V Stands for Visibility
When you begin networking and see people out and about, you will begin to recognize fellow entrepreneurs. But you don’t really know what they stand for, what their brand offers or what they’re all about.
At the visibility stage, people aren’t ready to make a purchase or referral.
C stands for Credibility
Once you have shifted from visibility into credibility, the people you meet through networking are now ready to invest in your brand offering. You have establish trusstands for visibility.
It is essential that you focus on building a relationship over producing a transaction.
Establishing trusted business relationships can take time, often a lot more time than you want it to. Patience is required.
Understanding where you are on the curve of credibility is essential to this process. I go into detail on this master networking tip in my November post. Once you have made this transition, you are able to talk about the future and opportunities for business with one another.
As a master networker myself, understanding that it often takes five months from the time I meet someone who is interested in investing in my coaching services before they make a purchase, has been life-altering. I really focus on generosity and ask a lot of questions to establish trust.
P stands for Profitability
Profitability is when someone is actively referring you. Many people think they’re at profitability once they gain a new customer or client, but that isn’t actually the case. If someone invests in your brand, you’re at credibility. You have reached profitability when they have become a loyal raving fan and are actively referring you.
Profitability is the goal and it takes time, like a mighty oak.
*****The biggest takeaway I want you to have from this blog post is the importance of focusing on building trusted relationships over producing immediate transactions.
The Kelowna girl in me would say, ”Don’t take your pants off on the first date people!”
My challenge to you
Knowledge is power, but action is required to create growth. Plant some seeds with the following action steps.
1 – Who can you meet for coffee to shift out of visibility with someone you’ve met at a networking event? Pick a name, reach out and treat them to coffee or schedule a Zoom call with them to learn more about them and what they do.
2 – Choose a client or customer who you would clone 1,000 times if you could; they are just that amazing. Send them a card or give them a shout out on social media to recognize their loyalty. Nurturing your client base goes a long way in loyalty and shifting from credibility to profitability.
Not sure who to contact?
Go through your contacts in your phone or your key social media platform and see who is at visibility, credibility and profitability. Or better yet, book yourself in for a networking event and practice these master networking tips.
To read part one, Six Tips to Network Like a Ninja, click here.
To read part two, Master Networkers Are Using This Essential Strategy, click here.
Onwards + upwards,
Your Coach, Lisa ??