Business networking and self marketing run extreme parallels. These parallels must always be kept in mind as one engages in the business networking process. Think about it, when you are introduced to new contacts and connections, what is actually happening?
You are presenting an image that a person must either except or reject based on their perception. Therefore, the self marketing aspect holds a strong relevance in your chances of success. Since we know that any business requires a solid marketing plan in order to stand a chance of success, having a self marketing plan only make smart business sense.
It’s really not that complicated actually but it is something to give attention to. Once you know your target, (and that is to be expected), the focus should be to market your most valuable benefits, opposed to features.
The reason to focus on benefits opposed to features, is that most people want to know what is in it for them. I may sound as if I’m speaking about a product or service but I’m not, I’m speaking about you. A person typically buys you and not just your wares.
So, when you are networking/self marketing, give yourself this 3 point value check;
1. What are your most valuable attributes overall?
The attributes to which I am referring are the benefits that come from doing business with you. Sure, your product or service may be top notch but since you are considered the representative for what your client will receive, what exactly will they get? Will it be service and consideration beyond the norm? Is there a particular characteristic that you hold that is uniquely better than others?
2. In the area of value, why would a prospect choose you over the competition?
This is a continuation from the above set of questions but requires a separate focus just as well. Competition in many industries is fierce. Consumers know this but want to be guided and respected. As you are marketing yourself, can you exploit your uniqueness to handle the special desires of your target market? If so, you will give reason to be chosen over competitors.
3. When you are speaking to potential clients or partners, what are you predominantly promoting?
Typically, when people speak to potential clients or partners, they are focusing so much on their product and service that the care and dedication that comes from the rep (you), is missed completely. I’m not suggesting to completely shift the focus but when a person feels comfortable and that they can trust you, a lot more favorable things happen as a result.