How does that saying go? Something along the lines of “If you don’t measure it, you don’t manage it.” I forget now, but I am sure you understand my meaning.
Networking is exactly the same – why should it be any different.
I am often told by people that ‘Networking doesn’t work for me’! Statement of fact, I am sure you will agree. However when I ask them all the different “why’s”, the story really does change quite considerably.
There’s the ‘why – how many events did you go to’ that usually gets me a response of one – ‘one’ – I mean, how realistically can you do something once and then say it didn’t work? I don’t get it?
So the next logical question is then “how many people did you meet”? Well this one can vary between 5 and 50 people. Now this is where it gets interesting because if you met (let’s split the difference here) say 25 people at the event, and of course my next question is “How many people did you follow up with?” The majority of folk that I speak to will tell me at this point that ‘no-one’ followed up with them or contacted them and therefore Networking just does not work for them.
Well, I guess that Networking will ever work for anyone if everyone is waiting for everyone else to make the first move! By going through the measurement exercise we have established the facts and that is that if you don’t do something with the contacts/cards/telephone numbers that you have collected at a networking event, you will reap exactly what you sow – in this instance (and in so many that I encounter), exactly nothing.
So once you get home from a Networking event, don’t just toss the cards into a drawer somewhere and wait for something to happen, chances are – nothing will happen. Phone the people that you have met, make appointments to meet with them, start building relationships, start engaging in Joint Ventures and Collaborations. Make Networking work for you by working on your Networking.
Measure what you have done against your results and I promise you, you will be very pleasantly surprised.