Ever get plain tired and bored with networking? You know the feeling. You dread going to a meeting or event, make excuses and simply don’t show up, get lazy about the follow-ups and as for staying in contact with referral sources, heck, that went out the window a long time ago.
Yes, tired of networking. Bored and burned-out and feeling like all the time and money that has been invested has just gone, well, nowhere.
But on the other hand you KNOW that networking MUST remain a part of your business building efforts. You know that you need to be “out there” on a regular basis.
But it seems simply dreadful. What’s a person to do?
I can’t promise that this is the answer for everyone but if you take a few of these actions (or a few of them anyway) you might lose that feeling of ennui and start to enjoy networking once again. Want more personal advice for your specific situation…shoot me an email.
- Cut back on the events and meetings you are attending. Sometimes burnout occurs when you are simply out there TOO MUCH. Do an analysis of which events work best for you and attend those. Drop the ones that you attend but always go with the attitude of “ya never know.” At a certain point you DO know and what you know is that nothing productive is going to come of the time that you’ve spent.
- Have a plan for HOW you wish to work the event. Establish a goal for how many new people you’d like to meet and set out to meet them. Hanging out with old friends feels good but isn’t the best use of your networking time.
- Select the networking time slot that works best with your business and life style. Forcing yourself to attend breakfast events when you are not a “morning person” means that you will be resentful every step of the way. There’s no need to do that as there are plenty of afternoon and evening events from which to choose.
- Follow-up with all of the connections that you have made and recognize that if you don’t follow-up in an expedient manner you will have little ROT (return on time). Networking requires time, patience and strategy and if you deploy anything less you will have diminished results.
- Continue to evaluate and quantify your results. Networking is fluid and you can delete networking activities, groups and events at pretty much any time. Don’t force yourself to continue with something that just isn’t working; it simply isn’t worth it.
- Remember that just because a group or event is more expensive it doesn’t mean that you will get better results. The price of the group or event is meaningless; it’s the people that count!
Most of all, have FUN. Yes, fun. While networking is work, it’s also social interaction and if you aren’t having any fun or success then it is truly time to take a step back and review your groups, strategies and tactics, timing, and more. Happy to answer questions if you have any!