Our very own Business Manager at Arizona Tax Advisors, Suzy Greenwood, was recently asked to appear in a video for the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, on what business networking means. Here’s what she had to say!

Business networking is really about making new friends and getting your name out; it’s learning about people, their businesses, and their goals for success. It’s asking the question, “How can I help?”  Tempe, where we are located, offers a myriad of opportunities to interact with people.  Find what fits you!  You can only do that by testing the waters!

When I moved to the area, I attended so many groups and events!  Not all of them were right for me, but I met some amazing people, and discovered several groups which fit just fine!  That was as simple as asking myself, “Do you want to return a second time?”  Since we all have limited time and energy, choosing the places where we can do the most good and have the greatest impact is important.  Equally important then, is consistently attending.  As Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up!”

Next, comes a step that is easy for some and terrifying for others…walking into a room filled with unfamiliar faces!  If that puts your fear meter in the red, take a minute to remember people are here because they WANT to meet people.  They want to meet YOU!  They want to LEARN and GROW.  How can you help them do that?  How can you help them do that if they don’t even know you?  We honor others by extending our hand first, giving our name and then asking them about themselves and their business.  And remember, they might be even more nervous than you! It’s amazing how much fear is removed by a handshake and a smile.

If 80% of success is showing up, the other 20% is following up!  Meeting a person, exchanging cards and a few words is wonderful, but not always memorable!  The time spent over a cup of coffee, an iced tea or a beer just might be!  Reach out to the people you’ve met and set up a time to begin building the foundation of a lasting relationship.

Business networking is really about giving – giving time, giving respect, giving from the heart.  As with anything in life, the more you give, the more you gain.  Give freely and fearlessly.