Network Your Way to Success

Relationship-building through networking is a key to success in any business.

“Networking isn’t just about handing out business cards; it’s about building connections based on mutual respect and support,” explains Ronn Cordova, vice president of franchise development for The Maids, the only franchised residential cleaning service that cleans for health.

With over twenty years experience in business development, Cordova is an expert in building strong relationships and offers these simply tips to make your networking more efficient. 

Get to Know New Contacts

Effective networking begins with getting to know another person, including in areas that extend beyond business. Does he/she have children or an interesting passion? Do the two of you have anything in common? Once you have begun shaping a genuine relationship, expand your conversation to encircle the topics of your business goals, needs and interests. After the meeting, make notes about your new contact, and then create a mini-dossier to help you remember important details at future meetings. If you attend a networking event, you might meet 25 or 50 people. You won’t be able to keep up with everyone, so concentrate on the people you believe will be most beneficial to you.

Check in Periodically

Reconnect with your core contacts regularly by taking them to lunch or coffee. Or, periodically pick up the phone to maintain the link you’ve created. In all cases, be sincere in your efforts to create a relationship. Talking with Person A may lead you to Person B who knows Person C and the connection may bring you more business. At the same time, remember that networking is a two-way street. Don’t dominate the conversation; listen. Always keep in mind the ways in which you might assist your new connections.

Ask for Advice
People love to offer advice to others, and since each person brings a variety of experiences to the table, it is important for you to listen and learn from others. A new contact might introduce you to a concept or idea you have not previously thought about to help improve your business.

Use Social Media
Take advantage of social media, especially the most-used sites -- Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook -- to network. While the Internet may be a necessity in today’s technological world, never use online sites to totally replace more effective and more genuine face-to-face meetings.

Follow Up

Follow up with new acquaintances in a courteous and timely manner. Hand-written notes are rare these days and that means they’ll make a big impression when sent. During follow-up, let your contact know that you have used their suggestions or reached out to someone per their recommendation. Remind them that you are available to lend a hand when they need it.

About The Maids:
Known for its 22-Step Healthy Touch® Deep Cleaning System, The Maids is the only franchised residential cleaning service to clean for health, combining environmentally preferable cleaning supplies and state-of-the-art equipment with a methodical process to maintain the healthiest living environment possible for families. The Maids enjoys a 96 percent customer referral rate, distinguishing them as the residential cleaning service of choice.