I’ve been in business for 27 years and have had my fair share of ups and downs driven at times by the economy and at other times by a variety of circumstances that came together in a perfect storm and then gave me a run for my money.
Through it all, good times and bad, I have believed in the power of networking and have seen it work when nothing else seemed to generate new business.
But lest you think otherwise I must tell you that getting networking introductions is work.
- It requires patience and the ability to build trust and camaraderie over time.
- It necessitates that you also be reciprocal or even better, that you start the connection-making ball rolling and strike first with the initial introduction.
- It demands that you stay visible and “on the grid” so that your networking contacts don’t forget that you exist.
- It dictates that you understand that it isn’t “all about you” and that your networking conversations include more probing questions for your networking partner than a virtual information dump about yourself.
Most definitively networking isn’t something that you do just when your business gets soft. Just the opposite, it’s an initiative that must get bigger and hence will get better over time, and the best rewards are reaped after months and years of connecting.