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If you're tired of the networking scene in your town, give it a twist: try volunteering. You get to work with others for a cause, and in the meantime, build relationships that could turn into business down the road.
Networking is all about selling. But with volunteering, you don't have a specific agenda to sell, which makes the relationships you create more sincere. People who trust you will trust your business if and when they need your type of service or products.
What Can I Do? Not only will you build relationships that can translate into customers, you will build your portfolio of good-doing. If you have a strong set of business development skills, volunteer your time for fund raising. If you're a strong writer and PR person, help out with press releases and media management. You are essentially putting your good skills to work, resulting in experience to build on.
How Will Volunteering Bring Sales? Think about the people you have met at church, at your children's school, in the community. You probably know where they work, and if anyone mentions needing services or products, you immediately think of the people you know can provide them. It works the same with volunteering. People get to know you, and they know what you do for your day job. When the time comes for them to purchase the kind of item or service you sell, you are the person at the top of their list!
Where Can I Volunteer? There are hundreds of nonprofit and volunteer organizations that need help across the country. Find a group that works for a cause you want to help with, such as the American Cancer Society or Multiple Sclerosis Society.