Operations

Networking: Getting Back to Basics — Like Luncheons

Posted on March 4, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. — Neil Collins, owner of Autoluxe Transportation of Weehawken, N.J., is meeting new business contacts the old fashioned way: Going to lunch.

Collins has established monthly luncheon meetings where he invites people from different walks of life to meet to make new contacts and potentially refer business. Each month’s meeting has a guest speaker and sponsor.

“Our group is diverse. We all come from different non-competing industries,” Collins said. “We are all professionals who are trying to create word of mouth business for our companies. The investment in these luncheons is primarily time.” Among the group are a banker, a financial analyst, a marketer, and a public speaker. Their common link is knowing Collins.

Arthur Messina, owner of Create-A-Card Inc. of St. James, N.Y., attended the February luncheon. “You’re not going to walk away with business going to something like this but it gives you the opportunity to meet people outside of your normal circles and to put your company’s name in front of them,” he said. “As you continue to attend these luncheons, you forge better relationships, and that’s when you get business. People buy from people.”

Collins intends to meet monthly and expand the group to include others that the current members have suggested. “It’s an old way of networking but in today’s economy you need to get back to basics,” Collins said. “You have to work harder and do things differently.”

He suggests that other industry members give it a try. “You might be surprised at the results.” Collins has not yet garnered any additional business from the group, but he is optimistic. “If one person in the group refers my service to a friend, then it is a success,” he said.

Source: Linda Moore, LCT Magazine

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