Have you intentionally set out to build your network?
When I started intentionally networking, my first priority was to grow my business. I saw networking as a way to expand my reach in the community by getting to know more people. I reasoned that if I knew more people, more people would know me and therefore know of me as a business person to call when they, or someone they knew, needed my services.
As my intention to grow my sphere of influence became reality, I looked at ways to be more focused and strategic. I didn’t want to spend all my time networking. I had a business to run, clients to serve, and a life outside of work too.
What I’ve learned is there is a lot of opportunity to waste a lot of time and there is a lot of opportunity to make the most of your time. I prefer the latter, don’t you?
I found a mentor who helped me focus on the people, events, and activities that would give me the business I was looking for. Who to build relationships with and how to create advocates, and many different ways I can help and support the people I meet.
My intentions of building a network:
- Building a larger sphere of influence, knowing more people in the local business community and the local community in general. Building brand awareness for me and my business.
- By knowing more people, be able to help more people. Providing support, direct assistance, and indirect assistance – such as making connections for them.
- Be a productive member of any organization I join. Contributing and participating.
To increase my focus, I added this intention:
- Network with people who have shared values, level of integrity, focus on growth of their business, with a giving helping mindset.
By being true to these intentions, I created solid referral relationships and rose to the top 5% of realtors in Contra Costa County.
I now help my clients set their intentions and strategically build their networks like I did when working in real estate.
When growing a network to grow a business it’s good to keep in mind that you’re growing your professional reputation. Be a giver. Help others. Participate and be a contributing member of the groups you join. Act with integrity. Do what you say you’re going to do – including attending meetings, being prepared, and on time.
It’s important to look at the bigger picture of why you want to build a network. My clients are typically looking to grow their business through relationships like I do. Therefore, we look at the type of business they have and who their best referral sources could be. To make networking most effective it’s all about building relationships with those business professionals that have a complimentary business so passing referrals back and forth becomes easy.
Why are you networking? Do you have specific intentions, or are you just out there wasting time?