Revolutionize Your Networking In Three Steps

Networking Part 1

1. Know your networking process.

Before you can start seeing results in networking, you need to have a solid process and know it inside and out. A mistake people often make in networking is that they randomly pick a networking group, shower them with your cards and try to sell everyone on your business. You will immediately push away many who could be valuable contacts. The main idea behind networking is to get to know others and build relationships with them. Not every relationship will benefit your business, but in order for networking to help grow your business, you have to know your target market. What does your client look like? Knowing your ideal client will help you hone in on the relationships you want and need to grow your business.

Instead of focusing on selling, your goal should be to get to know and trust one another – and each other’s business – well enough that you become a sales person for the other company. In order to build such a relationship you must put your time and energy into not only meeting the right people, but getting to know them the most effective way. Before you even set out, you should have a process or formula you use to make as many quality contacts as you can. This way you will build a true network that will continue to grow.

An example of a process for networking may be to arrange a one-on-one meeting, then share a resource, invite them to a complimentary consultation, and finally suggest a way you could work together. Believe it or not, we’re fans of scripting your interactions with clients. Not scripting like you have to follow an exact script word for word. In fact, we don’t recommend that. You do want to establish best practices for your networking conversations. What do you need to know to best help someone? What do you need to know about someone to know if they would be a good fit for your product or service? The more detailed your plan is for building solid relationships, the easier it will be to really get to know others and the faster your network will grow.

2. Set a goal.

Your goal should be a people goal, not a money goal. Networking is all about people and you’re more likely to achieve your goal when it’s focused on connecting with and helping people. We will discuss why this is so extremely important in our Networking Part 2 blog.

Your goal should be specific. How many new people do you want to meet each month? How many times and ways do you plan to contact them? How much can you help each of these new contacts? Include specifics on what you can do to be equipped as well. For example, list specific places you can have business cards handy. Make a goal of ways you can reach out and make yourself a more personable person.

Your goal must be written (or typed). If there is no account of what your specific goals are it is tremendously easy to forget not only what the specifics were, but the entire objective itself. A goal that is not clearly defined and highly visible is a goal that will not be obtained. Also, as you start step three you will desire having written goals that you can compare each month’s networking results and adjust your ambitions accordingly.

3. Track it!

It’s easy to wonder if you’re networking time is paying off. Don’t wonder! Track it. By tracking the number of people that were at the event, how many you talked to, how many follow up meetings you arraigned, the quantity of those turned into consults, and how many sales resulted, you can start to see patterns. Over time you can calculate the number of leads you need to meet in order to acquire a client. That’s powerful!

To many people judge the success of their efforts by what they think is really happening. It’s easy to let feelings trump facts, especially in relationships. But if you’re looking to create a networking strategy that works, consider how you track your efforts. The right tracking can tell you down to the person, how many people you need to sit down with to find a client. Why is that so important? Because when business is done right, it’s more like an equation and less like a guessing game. Although no one can predict the future, you can predict what the masses will do consistently over time.

For help establishing and tracking your networking process, ask us about our workflow remodel. In two hours we’ll help you find the leaks in your current system and identify the pieces you need to fill the gaps. Contact us here for more information.

So What do YOU Think?