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Networking 101 And Then The Phone Rings

Sep 01, 2009

One of the unusual elements of being a B2B CFO® partner is networking. Upon returning home after training with Jerry Mills, we’re instructed to go out meet people and seek names. During the subsequent months, when we’re truly learning the ins and outs of networking we do as we’re instructed. We shake hands, smile, get business cards and set up appointments at people’s offices. Sometimes this leads to more names, more handshakes, more smiles and meetings with other business professionals. The culmination of this process is to meet a business owner who has a need for our services.

How does this behavior benefit us, the business world as well as our clients? I’ve figured it out; it begins to create a stable of professionals, valued business acquaintances and business friends that we help and who help us.

Case in point, the phone rang, it was an anesthesiologist who I met at a business group. He recently started a pain management business. We met at a local retail establishment in what appeared to be an interview for my services. I was elated that someone from this group, (which I recently resigned from), wanted to meet with me. He began by asking what a CFO does, how it benefits a business, etc. We discussed his startup practice, what his needs are; his thoughts regarding his needs were quite different than mine. We finally discussed networking, something that I’ve become comfortable and good at. His position is giving up a day per week (something that I do as part of my practice) was too much time and would cut into his revenue stream. My response was that if you don’t, short term you’ll be fine, longer term you’ll be back sitting across from me trying to figure out how to grow your top line.

We went back and forth until he disclosed that his prior job was as an anesthesiologist at our local medical center. He went on to state that he wanted to get out in the local medical community, meeting with doctors from the hospital who could refer patients to him. I asked if he knew my family physician that holds a senior position at the hospital. His response was “he’s exactly the type of doctors I’d like to meet!” I stated that I’d make an introduction. He was grateful.

The good news is as we were leaving, the light bulb went off in his head and he admitted that making time one day a week to network makes perfect sense.

In the words of a former President, Mission Accomplished!

The moral of the story is, one day the phone will ring. It will be a business professional, a purchasing agent, an executive of a business you’ve been trying to make a date with, who wants your service, your product, your advice. The only way that the phone will ring is to get out there, meet people, smile, shake a few hands, give out a few business cards, be nice to people. Not only does it go a long way to creating your place in this world, you may ultimately generate some revenue for your business.

B2B CFO® provides “C” level financial expertise to small and midsized businesses. We are currently 130 strong in 43 of the 48 contiguous states. Feel free to contact me to discuss networking or any other financial subject.

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