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Hi. My name is Terry, and I'm the President of Quicksilver Accounting & Consulting,  Wilmington NC.

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Thursday
Aug212008

The Wonders of Networking



If you want your company to become a shining star, I can't stress the importance of networking. 

Yesterday was a banner day for networking at Quicksilver Business Solutions.  I started at 7:30 am (not for the grouchy riser) at my own BNI group (not familiar with Business International Network ; please google and find a local group and join).  I had invited one of my clients, Terry Hall of RSVP Cape Fear, a direct mail marketing company to come.  It was great watching her give the members an introduction into what her company does.  Early on in my business I made a commitment to help each of my clients grow their companies, so sharing networking opportunities is one of the best ways I know to support them. 

Later at lunch I visited another BNI group where I had been invited by a fellow member I had referred earlier in the week.  There is absolutely nothing like being in a room of 25 business professionals all zipped up and ready to hear about your company and how they can help you by referring to their clients.  Right after this meeting I had a private conversation (called a one-to-one in BNI lingo)  with another company looking to strike up an alliance.

Pre-evening I attended the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce after hours event held at UNCW, our local university. Here over 100 professionals were there to meet and greet, conversing about their companies.  I was able to chat with several of my own clients, some great friends, and also meet several new people I didn't know, all while partaking in food and beverage.  The best was when I won a beautiful floral arrangement by Grapevine Florists and everyone heard our business names called out !  Advertising heaven and I didn't have to pay for it! 

12 hours later I was heading towards home, flowers gingerly resting in my cup holder, exhausted but very excited about the possibilities I might have created that day. I had managed to do work at a client's site and picked up a business book from B&N also. 

Some might say that they don't have time for all this 'social' activity, but I will tell you, please make the time or that might just be what you have left- all the time in the world because your company didn't make it. You must be proactive at all times.  I don't know when yesterday's networking will benefit my company, but I am sure it will have a postive outcome. Of course, this was a marathon day and I don't normally have as many networking events to attend, but I do schedule them on my calendar on a regular basis.

Last week I got an email from someone I meet a year ago who kept my card from a networking event.  Who knows how and when this day will reap benefits,  but I can tell you this, it works!  All my business comes from networking or referrals. 

Just remember one thing- it's not all about you.  When you network, make sure you help your fellow business person be successful,  because your giver's gain attitude will be rewarded sometime in the future. There is more than enough business to go around. Refer when ever possible.  If we all look out for each other there is nothing that can stop us from collectively becoming succesful!


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