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by on October 3, 2019
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“Tourism Business Networking is the process of developing and activating your relationships to increase your tourism business, enhance your knowledge of the industry and expand your sphere of influence.”
Notice that the key word here is tourism relationships.
Successful tourism networking of any kind starts with the genuine desire to build relationships with clients and other tour operators for the purpose of giving and receiving tour business. If you are only networking to gain and not to give, you’ll never be as successful.
Building Relationships should become one of the most important components of your tour business. You should build your business by farming not hunting. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it’s not powerful enough. Social capital is like financial capital. To amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal. Relationships are very much the same – referral relationships in particular. You must support and help others with their tour business before you can ask for their help in yours.
Remember tour business networking can also be more about FARMING rather than just about HUNTING.
It’s also about cultivating relationships and taking the time and energy to help them grow and flourish. A good farmer knows when to tend to his crop and when to harvest it; if you over pick, you’ll be left with nothing. But if you continue to care for and maintain your crop, it will grow abundantly.
Let’s think like the farmers, the ones who cultivates steady, growing, genuine and authentic relationships with the people they feel are important to include in their network. They have a steady back-and-forth of interactions that benefits not only them. Everyone involved is rewarded. Why? Because the time is taken to really get to know people enough to make a relationship means that when it comes time to make a referral, it’s much easier to call upon them.
Watch this video below to hear more details about the true meaning of business networking.
How do you define “Business Networking”?
This word has become so overused that some business professionals can no longer define networking. Many people think that networking is attending social or business after-hour events, shaking a few hands, collecting a few cards, and, of course, giving away a few cards of their own. Sadly, they actually believe that’s all there is to networking. To be fair, we could say they’re engaging in social networking. That’s never to be confused, however, with business networking.
Businesspeople tend to fall into one of two groups when it comes to their views of networking. For many, the current mindset is that networking is a passive business strategy, not a proactive marketing tool. This attitude results in a scattered, often ineffective networking approach that consequently wastes the business owner’s time and money. Not surprisingly, when people feel they’ve been wasting their time and money on something, they’re understandably not going to continue that activity.
On the other hand, some proprietors do consider networking a proactive marketing tool for their business. How can you tell? They make it a significant part of their marketing and business plans. These business owners have networking goals. They may even have a budget line item for networking. Most importantly, they practice it and live it every day. They are training a sales force. Their networking team is there to keep an eye out for potential clients. If you “target talk”, that is, hone in on exactly what type of client you are looking for, better, more qualified referrals will result.
After watching the video, let us know your thoughts on the definition of business networking. Do you have a different definition or any feedback on what may be missing from the new definition of networking that we’ve provided here? We’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments in the comments below. Thanks!
Excerpt from Dr. Ivan Misner
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