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
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
Commit to adding a new dimension to your networking. I am
looking forward to hearing about your new old!