Want a handful of networking tips to help you to spruce up your game?
“It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference.” –Anonymous
I bet there’s a good chance you’ve heard that saying before – it certainly packs a punch doesn’t it?
It’s much like that age-old question… “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
In other words as I always say, you can be the best at what you do, however if the people who you want to know about you don’t, then how good are you really?! Essentially, your value to your target market will not be where you want, or need it to be.
So here comes networking to the rescue… right? …or right!
Remember, we can give 2 people the same set of tools, abilities and opportunities and get 2 totally different results. So networking can only help you if you’re willing to help yourself.
With that being said, here are a handful of tips that you can apply immediately to spruce up your networking to give it the best chance to make a difference for you and your business.
Sharpen Your Saw!
As Stephen Covey so wonderfully puts it in his highly acclaimed gem-of-a-book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, habit number 7 is the habit of self-renewal or as he calls it “Sharpen the Saw™”. In this habit you are the saw, and as I see it and adapt it to our conversation here, you should continually seek to improve your tools, abilities and opportunities to get better results from your networking.
So how do you do that?
First, take a look at your props, tools, and systems such as your business card, your brochures, your website, your elevator speech, your follow-up procedures as well as any other supporting props, tools, and systems that you normally would use or reference in a networking scenario.
Now evaluate what’s working, what’s not working as well as what changes you could make that would make a difference in the results you get from your networking and go ahead and make whatever changes to those props, tools, and systems that make sense for you right now.
Also, anything worth doing is worth doing well, so study the art of networking… pick up a book or two on the topic and freshen up your knowledge on the subject… give yourself permission to gain some new insights and perspective on networking.
Additionally, I would even go as far as to include things like your wardrobe, even down to your grooming. Go ahead and get that great haircut so you feel great – you’d be surprised about how we allow our perception of how we look dictate how we feel and ultimately how productive we are at any given moment.
My point here is to get a real grip on how you’re showing up to your target market through your ability to network effectively.
Choose Better Targets
Determine where it makes the most sense to play and play there… but don’t just play… play hard… play to win! Don’t waste your precious time playing where it does not serve you… it’s that simple. So go ahead and evaluate the current networking organizations that you belong to and once again evaluate what’s working, what’s not working as well as what changes you could make that would make a difference in the results you get from your networking and go ahead and make whatever changes make sense for you right now.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Like anything else practice makes perfect! Well if not perfect, at least it will allow you to be as effective as you can be. With networking, it’s not enough to just be ‘book smart’, excellence is attained through experience!
So in closing, take a hard and close look at both your inner-self as well as your outer-self. Additionally, take a look at where you’re playing and practice your way to success. In essence, maximize what’s working and replace what’s not working with something that will.