Want Results From Your Networking Endeavors? Do These 5 Things.

If I had a dollar for everyone that told me that they have no results from networking I’d be a very rich woman indeed. Networking is work and like with most things in life, some people are better at it than others. But EVERYONE can get better and so if you feel like your networking results are not what you want, consider the following suggestions and see if you can turn things around:

Make proactive introductions
Being reactive and waiting for someone to “ask” you for an introduction is not really networking. Making proactive introductions because you see potential short and long-term business synergy is what “real” networking is all about. Don’t be scared to put people together but be certain to explain why you have done so. Your ingenuity will be appreciated, as will be your efforts.

Say thank you
Saying “thank you” is fundamental business etiquette, yet, is a step that many people seem to forget. A sincere thank you can go a long way to making someone feel appreciated and recognized and will help your own business development too.

Stay on the grid
Networking takes time and often months or even years will pass before seeing results. It’s important to stay on the grid of all of your networking resources and influential contacts, and to do so not by “checking in” or “touching base,” but by actually adding value to the relationship. Make introductions for them, invite them to meetings and events, or share relevant information and you will find that your networking relationships flourish and are more productive too.

Ask questions
As an avid networker, I am continually amazed by the people that are simply “not curious” and will have an entire networking conversation without asking one single question. Questions will provide you with insights and information that will then enable you to make better introductions and connections. Questions also help you to control the path of the conversation especially when you see it running off the rails.

Don’t make assumptions
You know that person you met that you don’t think has any value to you; did you know that their best client is one that you’ve been trying to meet, or that their sister works for a company you’ve been prospecting? Make it a point to engage long enough to uncover relevant information and see if there are opportunities that should be explored. A question or two (see #4) should enable you to uncover any mutual potential.

Once more, you really have to WORK at NetWORKING in order to see results. It’s a long-term game that can give you more than you ever dreamed but it doesn’t come easy. Of that I am 100% certain!

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