The New Old

It was Solomon who said, "There is nothing new under the sun." There's a part of me that knows this to be true. The longer I live, the more I realize that the fundamentals of life remain the same. What does change are the creative ways that we do the fundamentals of life. I believe that a core fundamental to life is to be a blessing to others. Interestingly enough, that is also a fundamental principle of networking: being a resource to someone else with no expectation of anything in return. Networking becomes an old truth done in a new way. Have you thought about how you are going to network differently this year? The old adage still continues to be true; if you keep doing what you are doing you're going to keep getting what you are getting. Are you satisfied with last year's networking results? Do others see you as a resource for products, people and services? Are you effectively communicating who you are and what you do? Do your follow-up efforts yield a lasting relationship even if there were no sales? Maybe it's time to create a new way of doing an old activity for yourself. Here are four ways to change your networking that will energize you and your business. Network with intention. Networking is one of the most important and best returns on investment that you can do for your business. Know what you're looking for when you network. Are you looking for prospects, referrals, sales or information? Be selective and have a purpose when attending events. Be on the look out for a few excellent people to add to your power team or who you want to get to know better. By being intentional, networking becomes effective and efficient. Be a resource. Everybody is looking for something; new restaurant to try, introduction in a job search, new clients. Most people know that the best lead is a personal referral. Have you thought of yourself as a resource for what others may be looking for? Communicate. The biggest part of communicating is listening, but more on that at a later time. Are you able to clearly and succinctly articulate who you are and what you do so others can also communicate your message? You want your message to be simple and memorable so people will think of you! Follow-up. It used to be how someone followed-up determined the future of the business relationship. Now I would say if someone follows-up determines whether there is a business relationship at all! It amazes me how few people follow-up even after invited to do so. Follow-up has become a screening technique for me. If someone follows-up with me, I am willing to listen. Of course, I am always looking to expand my business. I also know that I am looking for ongoing business relationships, not just a one-time transaction. Following-up creates an opportunity for a sale, but more importantly, it is the beginning of building a fruitful relationship. Commit to adding a new dimension to your networking. I am looking forward to hearing about your new old!