Lately I keep hearing from people that they are “cutting back on their networking activities.” Seems they are burned out and tired from all of the running around that has simply not generated enough substantive business or for that matter, introductions, contacts, connections…not much of anything at all.
And if that’s the truth (and what a sorry state of affairs that is), then why do it…or why do it so frequently?
And ya know what, I agree.
I totally agree that you can easily burnout in this endless pursuit of substantive networking that actually yields results. You go here, there and everywhere, morning, noon and night, run yourself ragged and for little return. I reached that point myself and that’s exactly why I created Adrian’s Network. But I digress; that’s not the purpose of this post.
Here’s how to stave off burnout and emerge a winner in this game of networking:
- Establish a networking game plan. You can’t be everywhere everyday and it is a better idea to strategically determine where you will (might?) have the best networking ROT (return on time). Keep your schedule sane!
- Quantify your networking efforts and results. Yes, it IS about results. And results can be much broader than simply “new business.” Results can be introductions for speaking gigs, results can be a community of resources that you can introduce to your clients and other referral sources; just to be clear, positive results do not always equate to new clients.
- Have fun. Yep, have fun when you attend these meetings and events and if you find that the fun of it all is totally eluding you, well then, stop going. What’s the point?
- Make friends. At the end of the day, networking is about people interacting and working with other people. View the activity as an opportunity to expand your contacts and make new friends.
Networking is a powerful tool and should play an integral part in your business building efforts. Don’t become overwhelmed, be a strategic networker and you should recognize results.