Effective relationship building requires networking up, networking across and networking within
In this season, progressive entrepreneurs are coming to terms with the necessity of using networking to build and develop effective relationships. In fact, more and more of us are discovering that is vital to not just appear to network but to network. The issue is rising entrepreneurs have been attending events for appearance purposes and randomly sponsoring affairs without strategy for so long that the art of relationship building is being lost, neglected and misunderstood. Whereas, according to Forbes.com, “When done skillfully, networking can not only open the door to opportunities, but it can also help land new clients and tap into talent for future hiring.” In this edition of On the Scene, I use clichés to remind us all that to skip levels, we must network up, across and within.
“Your Network Determines Your Net Worth.” – Accordingly, business owners who are fascinated almost entirely with the value of their financial capital should take a moment to self-reflect. It is a known fact that the ability to passionately do what you love brings more joy than money any day. Why spend countless hours researching the numbers, refiguring the bottom line, and evaluating the costs only to overlook the value of your social capital? Social capital is essential in influencing and impacting people. This means attending national conferences, chambers meetings and continuing education sessions are more than just opportunities to make fashion statements and take selfies but a chance to increase your net worth. Events are our golf course. “It’s game day,” accordingly to fashion industry guru, Daunea, owner of girlie217.com, “so shoot your shot by meeting new people and engaging in (semi) natural conversation before handing over your business card.” When working a room, use a technique called F.O.R.M. to randomly discuss Family, Occupation, Recreation and future Money with anyone who steps within five feet of you. Start with an authentic complement, ie “Great speech!”, followed by a variation of “Are you from here?… Work keeps me rooted in this community, but I am always seeking new relationships; what are you into?… Do you have any down time, what do you do in your off hours?… I understand that the grind can be nonstop, let’s exchange cards and keep in touch and then insert elevator speech if necessary or possible. I know what some of you are thinking at this very moment , Crystal has totally F.O.R.M.’ed me before.
Nonetheless, after the event, work those contacts by remaining in contact and staying on their radar for future opportunities.
“It’s Not What You Know but Who You Know” – In our determination to scale up, we often miss the gems one cubicle over. From the janitor you pass daily who has a close connection to the CEO to the lady next door who has been a police officer for the past 15 years, it is important to engage the people who are currently in your network. You can use these human resources as leverage to accomplish your goals if you effectively build those relationships. Huffingtonpost.com says it this way, “seeking out and working in collaboration with others who share your interests and values will provide a stronger foundation, enabling you to reach a higher level of success than you would on your own.”
“And Lastly, There Is Power in Networking With-in” – Professionals are consistently reminded to scale up and network across but rarely reminded to network within. Internal networking is simply personal development, and it produces just as much power as networking outwardly. Personal development is a crucial aspect of building a valuable internal relationship and can be done with books, motivational audios, empowerment seminars, mediation and self-reflection. In fact, our very existence is evidence of internal networking manifested through our thoughts and associated actions.
On Saturday, June 30, 2018, I am hosting, Shirley Toliver’s Second Annual “What if She knew She was Powerful” Luncheon. With an expected attendance of 200 plus women, this is an opportunity to network up, network across and to network within. For more information and other networking opportunities, please follow PressReleasellc on Instagram.
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