First Person: Small Business Networking Strategies for the Holidays

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This is the season to be jolly. Many of our local small businesses invite their customers and neighbors over to celebrate the season with good cheer and deep discount savings. My partners and I are known as the Internet Angels. Often just by being ourselves and showing up, we lend a helping hand to our fellow businesses at their time of need and celebration. Being visible is the most important holiday networking strategy.

Attend the Events

Businesses really like it when their marketing works. By showing up to my local jewelers event for which they had gone to the expense of personally inviting me and designated marketing dollars to buying me gifts, they felt acknowledged and that they were important to me; we strengthened trust and appreciation.

Chat in Line

Standing in line gives you the full attention of those next to you. While waiting to register for the Ipad2 drawing, the Chairman of my Chamber of Commerce joined behind me. I had missed our Business and Government Committee meeting that morning because I was with a client and chatted to get caught up with local news. He expressed immense gratitude about the very same client and so I told him we just launched their new site. He was duly impressed.

Make a Good Impression: Follow Up

The owners were really glad to see me that night and I mentally noted to call them back after the frenzied holiday season. To pursue our discussion of Online Marketing and driving him even more business would have fallen on deaf ears. His store was packed and the excited crowd bought diamonds like shiny rock candy. Today, he had plenty of business. Tomorrow he will need another strategy to stay in the eye of his buying market and create greater stability.

Ask How You Can Help

The caterer was serving the delicious food himself to save on costs. I asked him if he bottled the sauces he was famous for. It turned out that he did not know how but that his friend’s business now made most of their money selling their salad dressings. After consulting a few minutes, he was much more cheerful and asked when we could get together. Reaching out to help at a time of need is what business is all about.

We all Win

Bye the way, I always win at these events so was not surprised when my name was announced. It was not the Ipad2; it was even better. I had won a beautiful angel ornament. It’s great when you get confirmation that you are helping others just by being your self.

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