Many people's idea of networking relates to the ‘size of their Christmas Card List, rather than the quality of their relationship with each person on that list. Similarly those people network, but few reap the rewards of zeroing in on their potential. Here are some ideas to help fill the gap between where you are now and where you can be.
1 Be Generous - Give without expectations and you will be surprised at how it returns to you. It may not come from the same source but a new client, referral, or opportunity will show up because of your efforts.
2 Be Consistent - As in marketing, the more consistent your networking efforts the more productive they become.
3 Gift your contact - Imagine you are buying your contact a gift for their work - what might it be? Understanding what your contact is looking for is the key to developing rapport and mutual understanding.
4 Get Involved - Getting involved puts you in a consistent position of visibility. It allows you to retain ‘Top of Consciousness’ positioning and when people need someone your name will spring to mind.
5 Be a Powerful Resource & Facilitator for Others- Expand your network and facilitate for others. Use your networking resources to bridge people you know with others. What goes around comes around.
6 Learn the Needs of Others then Help Fill Those Needs - Can your business fill their needs? Who do you know who can? Either way you have a win/win situation.
7 Building relationships - is more important than collecting lots of leads. Think quality vs. quantity. Connect deeper vs. on the surface.
8 It's More Important to Receive Business Cards than Hand Them Out - This puts you in a position to be able to follow up.
9 Consistently Follow Up - It's not enough to have a network. Follow up and continue developing your relationships and network. Have a good reason to follow up and ask “How can I help you?"
10 Develop Evangelists - Build relationships with Centres of Influence who connect with your ideal client or customer. Offer support and information exchange in return for referrals.
11 Be Connected - The 6 Degrees of Separation Theory states that we are only 6 people away from finding anybody we need to know. Be curious and you will be surprised at what people, resources, and information are at your finger-tips.
12 Develop You - You can grow your career or business as big as you can grow yourself. Start here!
Networking is the key to Star Performance in everything you do. You can build a ‘virtuous circle’ of networking contacts in as little as five weeks ‘from scratch’ and maintain that network for a lifetime.
Margaret Stead - Dream Architect, helps individuals, executives and business owners market themselves online into new jobs, careers - building customer-employer relationships and increasing their job satisfaction.
She offers personal coaching, workshops, tutorials, classes and reports on the telephone and in one to one meetings that help people just like you do job hunting that gets results. You can learn more about these terrific resources at www.careersnet.com