I always hear from sales people that one of their peers is a networking machine. “I wish I had his skills of networking. He just walks into a room and immediately pats everyone on the back and has three new friends.” Another one: “I wish I had the time that she has. She attends a networking event at least once a week. She’s an amazing networker.”
Most of the time when I look under the hood, I find that these people are very good socializers, but they don’t network at all. They attend a lot of events; they might be the center of attention at those events; they collect the fist-pumps and hugs; but then … nothing. Absolutely nothing comes of the interaction. The biggest misnomer about networking is that activity equals performance. Most people that are perceived as great networkers are just very good socializers – that’s it. There is quite a difference between being a socializer and a networker.
For the record, attending events and growing friendships is better than sitting at home. However, I see so much lost opportunity every week when I’m working with my clients. The talent and effort are both there, but the results aren’t. Below is one idea on networking that will change your outlook.
- Write down and schedule one to three action items immediately after every event. That’s it. Not seven action items – only three or less. This will ensure that you only follow-up on the items that are the highest priority. (If you meet six people worth adding to your database and sending a follow-up email – go ahead and do those things. By action items, I mean schedule a lunch, send a white paper, etc.)
That’s it. Tomorrow, I’ll share several other best practices in our live webinar.
Looking forward to having you on tomorrow’s session.