Lots of people network. They go to events and join groups and feel as if they are actively engaged in what has become an incredibly impactful business development tactic. Yep, they network BUT do they do it effectively.
As a long-time networker I’ve truly seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Networking is a contact sport. Played correctly and you can see progress and results. Done ineffectively and you get, well, nada.
Here are some quick tips on how to make it work for YOU:
- Givers get. Well, not always but still giving is the currency of networking. Open your databases and see who you can connect. Don’t wait for people to ASK you for a connection. Be proactive and make the connection because you know that there are yet-to-be-discovered synergies that should be explored.
- Be out there. I don’t mean that you must spend morning, noon and nights in networking activities but seriously, networking requires some WORK. Make a plan of which groups and meetings you wish to attend and then stick to it. The more you are “out there” in the correct places, the more visibility you will gain.
- Relationships rule. You can’t develop trust by listening to networking soundbites. You need to meet on-to-one and gain understanding and respect for the person that you “might” introduce to your clients and contacts.
- Quick impressions are often incorrect. Don’t immediately assume that because a person doesn’t fit into your picture of what a “good” prospect or referral source should be that they cannot prove to be a valuable contact. Too many networkers prejudge and then miss out on valuable connections.
Networking requires patience, strategy and a wee bit of tenacity. Stick with it and you will recognize success.