“Opportunities come NOT from people you know but,
from people who know, like and trust you AND most importantly, who they know.”
Even though I’ve accidentally made important business connections, I believe my career would be much further along had I been more committed to intentional and strategic networking. Do you have a networking plan? Are you working your plan? If not, maybe you need a few reminders about the reasons for networking activities and events.
- Potential clients – Meet people who are not in your contact database.
- Leads – Get leads by networking and getting good at asking, “Who do you know that needs _________?”
- Low-hanging fruit – People who network are ready for something or someone. That something might be your product/service. That someone might be YOU! Low-hanging fruit is all about timing.
- Practice – An opportunity to sharpen your interpersonal skills and rehearse delivery of your message.
- Strategic alliances – Find people who talk to your clients. Then explore how you might help each other.
- Visibility – Not everyone has heard of you, your company or your product or service. Wouldn’t you like to be the first person people think of?
- Influence – Build trust to expand your circle of influence. People want to follow those they know and trust. Less than 10% of the message is the words. Face-to-face communication has more potential to build trust than email, newsletters, phone calls and social media.
- Advantage – Your competition is networking. If you aren’t and they are, who has the advantage?
- Leverage – Save time. Meet many people at one event.
- Opportunities – Network to discover unique opportunities in areas like public speaking or community service. How often does that happen by reading a phone script or sending an email message?
- Lead by example – As a leader, set a positive example for others by engaging in networking.
- Fun! – Networking is more fun than spending 8 hours at your desk (even for an introvert like me.)
Life and career success is simply doing the right things, at the right time and for the right reasons. Networking is one of those things.