Turning networking into business

Are you looking to get more business from your networking efforts?

Are you wondering whether you are wasting your time and effort at networking events?

Are you struggling to really see a Return on Investment?

If the answer is YES! to any of these questions then you need to consider these three key ingredients – Commitment, Consistency, Contribution

Commitment– The first thing that you must do to get different results is commit that you are serious about developing your business and are serious about doing what it takes to get the results that you want. Networking is not a quick fix. Networking requires some effort and work on your part in order to make your business development fun and profitable longer term – and for the very long term!

I was on a group coaching call the other day and something very interesting happened. The coach asked one of the people on the call whether they would be prepared to write a blog every day and see no comments, no difference and no results for 2 years IF at the end of 2 years he could guarantee that he wuld be able to replace his full-time corporate income. The hesitation told me a lot about that person’s commitment to his business.

Networking can be a little similar. You show up and do your bit and it seems like nothing is happening then all of a sudden – BAM – there is all the business.

Consistency– As we speak about often, networking is all about relationships. If you can imagine starting a romantic relationship. You go on one date and get on well and decide to meet again. You are supposed to meet in 2 weeks time and something else comes up. You are then supposed to meet the following week but there is something more important. You go on a second date 6 weeks later. How long is this relationship going to last? Is it really likely to get off the ground? How long will it take at that pace to build a lasting, loving relationship?

Networking is the same. There needs to be a consistency of effort, attendance and participation for you to get maximum value. Once you have made the commitment that networking is something you will do then you need to consistently meet people, see the same people and build relationships and take part in the networking group.

Contribution – If you are not bringing very much to your network how do you expect to get very much out of it? You need to be consistently (there’s that word again!!) looking for ways to contribute to individuals in your network and to your network as a whole. It may be introductions, it may be visitors, it may be referrals, it may be purchasing yourself.

Someone that I have learned a massive amount from in regards to networking is Robyn Henderson. She advises that a master networker will spend 15 minutes per day working on their network. How much time are you spending?

Happy Networking!

Written by Ruth Thirtle

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