How’s the networking going?
In our last conversation we discussed how you could improve your networking effectiveness by 1000% just by getting some focus and clarity on exactly who your networking target was. I hope that you’ve spent some time doing that. If you have you should already see the difference in your success. Again it’s not about the ACTIVITY, or how many events you go to, or the size of the events you go to at all. It’s all about the PRODUCTIVITY of the events that you go to! Are you getting results or not!
I promised to share with you my 9 Rules of Smart Networking. So here you go;
- Smart Networking #1: Remember one of the reasons that you network is that ALL managers; executives and business owners need to build good relationships with people who can help them do their jobs. Connections made through effective networking can connect you with people that can do exactly that!
- Smart Networking #2: Before you can ever effectively network you must clearly know who your specific target customer is? Take the time to clearly and specifically define exactly who your target prospect is for your company and sometimes by product as well. So that then you can apply tip #3.
- Smart Networking #3: Only network where your top prospects network…anything else is just socializing. If you want to hand out your business cards to a bunch of suspects that’s up to you. It’s much more profitable and time efficient to hand your cards to specific prospects.
- Smart Networking #4: Size doesn’t matter. Networking at small events sometimes can be 100x more productive than big network events. I would much rather spend my time at a smaller event where 90% of all attendees were my specific target, than an event where 5% of the attendees were my target. In other words, I just don’t want to take the time to “find” my prospect in the crowd. I want my prospect to be the crowd!
- Smart Networking #5: Are you just giving and getting business cards?..or are you making contacts with true prospects? Back to our central theme. If you really care about your business and your product, you will care about the time you spend wisely and otherwise in the networking process. In reality, most of you cannot afford to be networking simply for the sake of networking. Repetitive message…yes! Worth repeating….YES!
- Smart Networking #6: It’s wasted time if you’re networking with anyone who can’t say yes or get you to yes! If your target for networking is to find people who buy your product or service or tell someone to buy your product or service, then you must know that the networking event that you are going to is attended by those people. Very few CEO’s and senior executives go to the big massive networking events. Why? Because they don’t have to. They have sales teams that they tell to go to these kind of events. So again, find out where that CEO or Executive does go to network and meet peers because that’s where you should be as well.
- Smart Networking #7: Smart networking is all about FOCUS on who and what you want. Enough said!
- Smart Networking #8: Smart networking is all about efficiently managing your limited time by having FOCUS on who and what you want! As a busy executive; manager or business owner it is critical to maximize the value of your time. In our existing market conditions, you simply cannot afford to mismanage your time by going to unproductive networking events.
- Smart Networking #9: If your networking contact fits your perfect prospect/customer profile, always ask them for an appointment to start the partnering process, then and there. If you go home to analyze then decide that they’re a fit it may already be too late to call them. Don’t leave that opportunity open to the time factor.
Remember that for many if not most industries, cold calling is dead. Mostly because the consumer will not tolerate it plus the extreme inefficiencies wrapped around the amount of time required to cold call. So once again, the answer is simple….SMART NETWORKING!! Treat your networking time as a strategic tool. Think about it and be clear to your objectives. Your productivity and your profitability will incrementally grow faster that you could ever imagine. It’s just good business!
If you need some help, give me a call. This is what I specialize in. So, call or write. I’m open for business.