10 Ways To Use Networking To Successfully Grow Your Dietetic Business
The annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an annual Fall event. Whether you are going to FNCE or not, networking is an important factor when attending any conference or educational seminar. Networking can establish relationships with people and build one’s practice.
Here are 10 ways to use networking to successfully grow your dietetic business.
1. Build Relationships. “The word networking can evoke salesy experiences, but when it’s approached as relationship building, the core of which is to create meaningful connections and promote other professionals, it naturally evolves into mutual support and opportunities,” states Michele Redmond, MS, RDN. Twitter : @Taste_Workshop
Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, agrees, “The biggest thing that is going to set you apart from the competition is the relationships you develop with people. Not only will those people want to work with you, but they will remember you as a referral source for their family, friends, and colleagues.” Twitter: @mandyenrightRD
2. Classic “Hi, Hello.” “Although putting yourself out there on all social media avenues is important, I have found that the personal ‘hi, hello’ – even through an interchange of email conversations – is the best way to foster great connections when networking,” informs Beverly S. Price, RD, MA, E-RYT 200, C-IAYT, CEDRD-S. Twitter: @BeverlySPriceRD
3. When you meet people, listen to what they have to say. They may have a need for your services or they may offer insight into what people are looking for, which can help you alter your services to accommodate their needs.
4. Be Real. Being honest and true with people can help establish real relationships. You will naturally connect with certain people based on your personality. Hone in on these relationships to establish strong connections.
5. Join Professional Societies. “Joining professional societies (and holding elected offices) locally, regionally, and nationally can help one meet providers and share your expertise,” recommends Judy Simon, MS, RDN, CD, CHES. Twitter: @JSimonRD
6. Bring Business Cards. “Network by carrying business cards everywhere you go. Even at public campgrounds, scout camps, motorcycle poker runs, grocery stores, and township meetings, you can still meet people and network,” explains Linda S. Eck Mills, MBA, RDN, LDN, FADA.
7. Keep an Open Mind. You never know who you are going to meet or where. Keep an open mind in all public situations because you may just meet someone who can help you grow your business through referrals, job opportunities, and more.
8. Build Referrals. “Network to connect with other healthcare professionals who can refer clients. When attending conferences and events, strike up conversations with people about what you do and talk to clients and members of clients’ interpersonal circles to increase clientele,” advises Gabbi Berkow, MA, RD, CPT. Twitter: @gabbiberkow
9. Help Others. “Networking and attending conferences can help spread the word about your work and see how you can help others. A win-win situation,” describes Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD. Twitter: @drlisayoung
10. Keep in Touch. After the networking is over, make sure to keep in touch. Periodically, reach out to maintain the relationships established. This way you stay fresh in people’s minds.
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