As the founder and chairman of an international organization, I am sometimes overwhelmed by commitments and obligations, so I know firsthand how important it is to make the most of your time. Have you ever tried to get back an hour you spent on something that didn’t turn out well? It’s not possible. Since you know you can’t retrieve an hour, much less a day of precious time, you obviously want to spend it as wisely and effectively as you can.
So if you spent your time networking, you would want to get a high return on your networking investment, right? Here are some tips on how you can do just that:
1. Be “on” 24/7
Be on the top of your networking game all the time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Networking opportunities present themselves in the most unsuspected places and times. If you snooze, you just might lose.
2. Learn to play golf or something
Challenge yourself to a game of golf or some other activity that aligns with your interests and skills. A lot of business that happens on the golf course could just as easily happen on the badminton court, the soccer field or across a pool table.
3. Have purposeful meal meetings
Get more value out of your meal meetings. If you’re going to meet and eat, you may as well get more out of the experience than calories. Make this activity pull its weight as an opportunity for business networking.
4. Make first impressions count
Make sure you get off to a good start. Learn to take a closer look at your appearance and your body language. Are they helping you start good conversations–or ending them before you can even say a word?
5. Seek out a referral networking group and join a chamber of commerce
If you’re going to venture out and attempt to build a network, the first steps should be to seek out a referral networking group and a chamber of commerce to help network your business.
6. Sponsor select events and host a purposeful event
Focus on how you can leverage sponsorship opportunities and specific events to position your business in front of key people. Of course, you need to take the initiative to make it happen.
Work on these strategies so you can strengthen your network, get more return on your networking investment, increase your visibility within the community and, most of all, get the most value from the time you spend networking.