Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: Grow Your Business
It sounds easy enough to go out and connect with others; in reality, you may be stuck inside searching for networking ideas. These suggestions could help you enjoy the networking process while growing your group travel business.
Play to Your Strengths
Are you an excellent cook? Do you want to improve your golf game? Learn more about wine? Create a beautiful garden? Whatever your hobby, chances are there is a class that could help you improve your skillset. Group classes allow you to meet new people with whom you share similar interests. The people in your class may be teachers, lawyers, stay-at-home moms or retirees. No matter who they are, chances are they like to travel or know people who do. Just like that—a new connection is made.
Meetings. Meetings. Meetings.
While attending professional association meetings, you become acquainted with wide range of people. If you're looking to reach out to your local business community, the Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. School PTO/PTA meetings are also an easy way to meet fellow community members.
Make the Most of Networking Events
Today, most networking events require online registration. If the event coordinator uses a public registration system, take a peek at the attendee list and plug some names into LinkedIn. If you find someone with whom you share a common interest, send him or her a note. But don't stop there: Be sure to look for this individual once you arrive at your event. Networking functions can be awkward, particularly when you don't know anyone in the room. This is one way to solve that problem.
Develop Your New Relationships
Often when you meet an interesting person at a networking event, you are pulled away the moment your conversation gets going. Be sure to grab your new comrade's card and follow up with a lunch or coffee. You could even set a goal to meet up with one new connection each month.
Find Your Cause
When you volunteer within the charitable cause of your choosing, you meet people with whom you share a common passion. Begin by talking to your fellow volunteers about your common goal and let the conversation flow from there.
Whether you are introverted or extroverted by nature, many networking opportunities are available to help you grow your group travel business. The best part? You may not even know you are networking!
Written by Lisa Stickler, staff writer for Groups Today magazine.