Pulling It All Together
You meet people and have the opportunity to network anyplace, anytime. Networking is a “nonstop” process; it is just living your life, connecting with people, learning, giving and making things happen. Often the word is very misunderstood. In fact some people give up on networking because they think it is only about handing out business cards, asking for referrals and immediately getting something. Nothing could be further from the truth. Building the relationships you need to reach your potential is easier than you think, yet it does take work. Look at it as a simple five-step process.
- 1. Meet people. Welcome opportunities to meet new people, and re-connect with those you already know. Have a 24/7 awareness and curiosity about what you learn from each person you connect with.
- 2. Listen and learn. Everybody likes to talk and often about themselves. When you listen, you will learn who they are, what is important to them, how you can help them, and how they might possibly help you.
- 3. Make connections. Help people connect with others you know who could help them and perhaps create a new synergy.
- 4. Follow up. When you promise to do something, make it happen, and do it in a timely manner. Follow-up is one of the golden keys of authentic networking.
- 5. Stay in touch. After an initial period of contact, if nothing happens, most people will just move on. Here is where a networking system really “works” for successful networkers. Successful networkers find ways to stay in touch and continue to build relationships. Why? Because their goal is to build a network of long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships, not just to get an immediate “result.”
Bonus take away from opportunities that result from a Networking connection:
- Learn something from the other person
- Give something back- a suggestion or piece of advice or information
- Take something away- perhaps a reason for a follow up meeting
- Implement your follow up strategy with a date and time.