In Networking – Less is More

In Networking – Less is More

Actually “Fewer is Better” would be a more appropriate title. Networking is not about exchanging the most business cards, but about identifying those business people with whom you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship. That means being clear about what you are looking for at each networking event.

It could be potential clients, referral buddies, affiliates, suppliers or maybe even a coach. With a clear purpose in mind, your antennae will be tuned to the conversations that can lead you to the right people each time. The 80/20 rule (or the 95/5 rule) applies here in spades. Listen way more than you speak.

You would naturally have a checklist when shopping for a car or a house. Those are expensive purchases. Your business relationships will be worth much more than the price of a car or a house over time. So be purposeful in your network. The relationships you develop have the potential to produce a continuing flow of profits so each “interview” is worth the effort to measure that potential.

Learning to qualify your relationships according to their value to your business will pay off immediately and for the long term. That means investing the time and effort where the greatest potential return exists, in the networking events you choose to attend, in the skills you focus on strengthening, with the advisors you seek out, and on the groups and individuals with whom you decide to spend the most time.

Be clear about the criteria you will use to determine which relationships to pursue, and have a workable plan to move on when it’s not a fit. Who you spend your time with will greatly affect how successful your business is. Start by being diligent in your networking.

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