Networking to Build Your Avon Business
What is Networking? Networking is interacting with other people to exchange information and contacts. Consciously networking can be a valuable tool for expanding your business.
You may have heard of formal business networking groups and those can be a good way to build your business but I want to focus more on the networking we do as part of our daily lives. Networking happens so many times in so many ways that you may not even realize you have been networking. For example you find out that someone on your bowling team has a lot of little repairs they need done around the house but they don't have the time or skills to do those jobs. You happen to have a great handyman so you share his number with them. That's networking.
A friend of mine says anytime there are 2 or more people are in a room, networking is happening. Some places that you might already be networking include at work, at a school, at church, on a sports team or league, in a crafting group or any other activity where you spend time with a group of people on a regular basis. Now when I talk about networking in these types of settings I know some of you are picturing walking up and down the aisles at church tossing brochures to the people in the pews, but that is not networking, that is straight self promotion and while that is appropriate in some situations, it is not why you are with these groups of people. Primarily you are there because you share a common interest or share a common goal. However while you are enjoying that interest or working towards that goal you have the opportunity to get to know the people you are with, and as you learn more about them networking naturally happens.
Take a genuine interest in the people around you. Focus on asking questions about and listening for clues about the things most important to them. A good way to remember what to ask about is to think of FORM, or Family, Occupation, Recreation and Message. Who is part of their family, what do they do for a living, what do they do for fun and what are they about? As you get to know them you will learn what types of needs they may have that you can offer a solution for and you will learn what they have to offer. The products, services and business opportunity you can offer with your Avon business can be the solution to some of their needs or maybe you are just connecting them with someone else you know or recommending another product or service that you know of. You also learn what solutions they have to offer so you can connect them with people needing those solutions. No matter which of these you do you will be creating a good feeling with the people you are spending time with and all things being equal people will do business with those they know, like and trust so they will be more likely to look at what you have to offer.
Some opportunities to share your business with others in your network will be more obvious such as letting the other moms on the soccer field know about our Sunscreen and Bug Guard products. Some will take getting to know them better like finding out that one of the Mom's can't keep her child on the soccer team because she can't afford to pay the fees and you offer the opportunity as a way for her to earn the extra money she needs to pay for her child's activities. You can even give the other person the opportunity to start the conversation by wearing Avon products or logo items or having brochures visible in your bag, or even having Avon on your vehicle.
If you are interested in upping your networking game I highly recommend the book Endless Referrals by Bob Burg. It's a great guide to adopting a networking mindset based around providing value to others. And as Zig Ziglar says ""You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
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