Would you rather have a root canal than attend one more networking event? If you feel that way, you’re not alone.
Even though it’s been demonstrated over and over that the most effective way to increase your business is through networking, this seems like merely a lucky break to a large number of business people whose networking efforts are not paying off.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they were at least having some fun—but they’re not.
When I first started networking in the late 80’s, I was fresh out of the Navy; networking wasn’t even remotely a part of my skill set. Clearly I needed to learn how to feel more comfortable doing something that was completely foreign to me after 11 and a half years as a sailor.
Over the last 30 years, I’ve learned a lot about networking—mostly from my mistakes. Now I know that the most successful networkers—and I count myself among them—have simple strategies that they use all the time. Networking has become an instinct for them, instead of a chore.
Successful networkers understand that there are three steps in the networking process and they’ve mastered them all. The good news is that these are very simple steps that can be learned and mastered by anyone who takes the time to do it.
In this 3-part blog series on how you can PowerUp Your Networking we’ll focus on one step each day and give you one simple action you can take right away to transform your networking experience—and your results.
Step One: Prepare
If you’ve ever thought of networking as one activity that means showing up someplace and hoping to give out enough business cards to generate some business, this first step will help you out a lot. When you understand that not all networking opportunities are created equal, you give yourself the chance to attend only those that are the optimal for you. Just that one shift will dramatically change your results.
One action you can take right now: Pay attention to the time of day at which you have the most energy. Are you a morning person—or do you feel more vibrant in the evening? Maybe lunchtime your best time of day. Whichever time is your best time of day is the time you need to network. Given that there are enough networking activities around town to network all day every day, this is easy to do.
It’s true that there will be times when your best networking opportunities will happen at a less than optimal time of day for you. Even so, if you’ll make it a practice to attend events at the time of day that best suits you, you’ll be astonished at the difference it makes in your experience. When you feel good, you’re much more magnetic to the people who most need your product or services. Do a search for all of the events that are scheduled at your optimal time of day, put them on your calendar and start attending them. Try this for the next 30 days and see what happens.
Tomorrow: Now that you know how to adapt your networking activities to your optimal time of day, discover the one thing you can do at every networking event to increase your success.
Want to know the whole story? If you want a foolproof strategy for successful networking, check out www.powerupyournetworking.com