Most business people will agree that networking is extremely time consuming. Morning and lunchtime meetings and evening events all conspire to eat away at the hours we allocate for work and make the workday stretch to 10, 12 or even 14 hours. Given all of the time, energy and money that is expended on networking it’s a sad situation for sure and even more sad if we don’t see results from our efforts.
Here are three actions that you should consider that may help you to save time as well as generate maximum results
from your networking endeavors:
Are you having a meal or coffee with one fellow networker? Why not grow the group and invite 4 more?
One to one followup meetings are very important for networking success however there are a limited number of hours that you can spend having coffee or a meal with a fellow networker. Rather than engage in individual meetings why not put together a group of four or six individuals for some intensive conversation designed to uncover networking synergies and opportunities. Adopt this tactic as an integral part of your networking strategy and make this six in the city get together a weekly or monthly activity.
Stay on the grid
You will rarely recognize immediate results from your networking activities. Months or even years may go by as relationships deepen, trust is earned and a suitable opportunity arises. Going to endless networking meetings and events without investing in the long-term means that you will see minimal positive results. Create a strategy whereby you utilize the three I’s to stay visible and relevant. The I’s are invitations, introductions and information and all of them can help you to stay on the grid and add value to the networking relationship.
Be proactive and take the first step
I’m not 100% certain about the truth behind the cliche, “givers get” but I do know that it’s always a better and more successful strategy to put people together because they work with the same type of clients, get leads from similar referral sources and in general have excellent networking synergies. A proactive networker doesn’t wait for one of their contacts to ask for a referral but instead will “make” opportunities and put people together without being asked.
Nurturing relationships is fundamental to networking success. It takes time however the results are well worth the time that is spent.