How many of you can clearly identify the difference networking has made to your professional life or business growth? It’s time to evaluate how spending time networking has added to your business development or your net worth. WHY do you network? Is your time an investment in your portfolio?
Step 1: Meeting vs Connecting
So you’ve met some really terrific people, but did you really connect with any of them? Meeting someone and exchanging a few words does not guarantee you’ll be remembered or you’ll remember anyone. However, if you’ve made a connection, that may make a difference. Asking questions such as these can generate a very interesting conversation:
- How long have you been in this field or business?
- What’s the most interesting part of your work?
- How do customers find you? Or how do you find them?
- What can I do for you?
Once you’ve had a conversation about any one of these topics, you start connecting, and you will remember something specific about that person, so when you call or send your first email, you can mention something you’ve discussed. He/she will be pleasantly surprised that you remember anything more than their name.
Step 2: Systems – organize information and follow up
What systems have you got in place when you bring back 10 or more business cards to your desk? Is the information entered on your database or outlook and what notes do you make beside them to remember where you met them, or something specific about he/she does, or something you have in common? It really doesn’t matter how many people you meet or how many business cards you collect, if you don’t have a system to follow up and truly connect.
Impress them – be the first one to reach out and re-connect!
Aren’t you always surprised when someone reaches out to you within 24-48 hours in today’s fast-paced and hectic working environment? I am. I wonder how does he/she do it? Now that I’m so impressed with their efficient follow up, I am now more interested in getting to know more about that person. Would you agree? Yes, I’m sure you do. I would dare say that’s a definite sign of a successful professional. Building our net worth is easy as step 1,2 and 3.
In over 30 years of living in Toronto, I have only had to look for employment twice, and that took 3 weeks each time; the first time was when I landed in Canada and the other was when I was transitioning to another field. All the other times, I’ve just moved from one role to another simply by letting my connections know, asking the right questions, or giving specific information, and the opportunities come rushing in. I’ve connected and built long lasting relationships. Growing your net worth comes from either a great connection or a good relationship!
Rosa Lokaisingh, is our Business Innovation Connector at Advantage Mississauga. She can be reached at 905-273-6151 Ext. 390 or
[email protected]. Visit www.advantagemississauga.com