It’s a great time to give yourself the gift of a “fresh start!” It’s a new year! You can begin again – to reframe how you network, not like a resolution, but a promise to yourself that you keep! Define some new targets!
“When you fail to hit the target… it is never the targets fault!” – Larry Winget
With a fresh new year upon us, it’s time to take stock of the strength of your professional and personal network.
• How many people do you know and know well? Which ones are trusted allies and “advocates?” Which ones are merely causal acquaintances?
• How deep are your relationships in business and in your personal life?
• Are you connected to the kind of people who can get you closer to your dreams and goals?
• How much equity have you built in those relationships? Have you invested enough time and effort into building the critical connections?
• How many people could you call upon right now for help if you needed it?
This list of questions (courtesy of Kathy McAfee, Networking Ahead for Businsess) will kick-start your thinking. Answer each question honestly. Notice that each question focuses mainly on relationships and helping others – NOT about selling or promoting yourself!
It’s always a great idea to stay in touch with the people you already know to determine how better you can help each other. These are already trusted friends. They know you. If they are advocates of you and your business, I believe this is the best way to begin the new year! ReConnect!! Utilize the resources you already have.
Kathy says, “Stay in Better Touch with People.” I agree!
If you are someone who in the past has attended every major networking event and all the networking functions you had time for and seem to be no further ahead… then you must take time to reflect upon your successes, failures and lessons learned from last year, make some significant changes and start over. Reevaluate “how” you network. Revise your 30-second connection (some call it an elevator speech). Schedule a face-to-face “get reacquainted” lunch. Focus on your friend – not you!
If networking has not been working up to your expectations, maybe… just maybe you need a refresher course from some networking professionals. Attend a networking seminar. Read more than 225 networking articles (as of 1/3/12) in the “Networking Index” on this blog. Take look at the Networking Articles Index, start at the top and being by reading a new networking article every day! Re-educate yourself. Make a new promise to read at least 1 networking book each month this year. Here are a few of my favorite networking books to get you started (in no particular order):
1. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty – Harvey MacKay
2. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea – Bob Burg
3. Endless Referrals – Bob Burg
4. Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections – Larry James
5. Power Networking: 59 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success – Donna Fisher & Sandy Vilas
6. Truth or Delusion?: Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths – Ivan R. Misner
7. How to Work a Room – Susan RoAne
8. Networking Magic: Find the Best – from Doctors, Lawyers, and Accountants to Homes, Schools, and Jobs – Rick Frishman & Jill Lublin
9. Cracking the Networking CODE: Four Steps to Priceless Business Relationships – Dean Lindsay & Jay Conrad Levinson
10. The Networking Survival Guide: Get the Success You Want By Tapping Into the People You Know – Diane Darling
11. Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last – Lillian D. Bjorseth
12. Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections – Ivan Misner, David Alexander & Brian Hilliard
Here is a link to more networking books!
Focus on making the network you already have and the friends you already know work for you!
Place a high priority on helping others! ReConnect!!
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Invite Larry James to speak to your networking 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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