Time is important when networking. Most people spend a lot of time and energy on networking. Most would like to have their efforts produce more results. Just one great relationship can provide a vast source of referrals and substantial income over your professional career, however, it’s important not to rely on one relationship or even on an already established network.
The networkers who are sticky are your friends, loyal networkers, customers and clients. They are the ambassadors of your brand or business. They are the ones who will stick with you, help you and refer business leads to you. They are the backbone of your network and become your own personal VIPs. They are your “go to” networkers when you need something. They have access to and can influence others in their network.
They’ll also publicly talk about your business, defend you against criticism, refer their friends and family to your business and in general do everything in their power to help you win. They have developed the habit of giving tips and sharing information. They are of an inspirational culture; one that ignites the passion in others and inspires them to become more than they are and to inspire and empower others to become more astute in networking. They do not have the “What’s In It For Me” attitude.
I often will look for technically savvy people who have a large Facebook and Twitter following. They have already translated their offline network into an online one. You can often learn online strategies that they are using that have been successful for them. Social networking has become a big part of networking.
To me, being sticky is being loyal. Some people are naturally loyal, while others are not. Fire the ones who are not and replace them with people who you like and trust and with whom you would like to have a good business relationship. The sticky ones will willingly reciprocate with tips, suggestions, ideas and referrals. Make sure you become an effective influencer of them to others in your network.
“The easiest way to know that you found someone you can work with is to ask yourself if you like this person. You are only going to do business with someone you know, like and trust… so if you are not clicking with someone… it’s OK. Just move on. There are plenty of people out there that you’ll be able to click with and build a successful relationship.” ~ Gelie Akhenblit, Founder of Networking Phoenix
One of the secrets of networking is to BE sticky! When someone gives you a referral, do your best to reciprocate. Sit down with each other and discuss ways you can help each other. Communicate often. The most effective business networking doesn’t always occur at a networking event. It occurs one-on-one, face-to-face. It’s important that you learn to manage these points of connection. The stickiness of your connections will determine how often you connect face-to-face.
Networking is a reciprocal process based on the exchange of ideas, advice, contacts and referrals. To keep growing your business and enhancing your professional standing you need to keep actively building your business network. You sprout new connections usually at large networking events. My experience has been that the most sticky connections occur at the small group level. There you have more time to cultivate new relationship because of the frequency you see each other.
If someone you just met shows an interest in what you do, they may be “sticky.” In other words, they are most likely someone you should follow up with to nurture a relationship.
So how do you attract sticky networkers to your network? If there were a synonym that describes networking, the word is relationships. Start small and take it one step at a time. Building an effective network begins with you and one other person with whom you have a good relationship. Look for others with similar attributes. Who do you both know that would be a good fit to welcome into your mutual admiration society? Make some calls. Book some lunches to discuss how you can work together. You learn from each other. Over time, grow your community larger and larger. Your business personality and culture makes you unique, if you’re true to that your sticky networkers will connect with you and become your friends for life. That’s how you build a sticky group of networkers.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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