On a daily basis, I am surrounded by people who know that connecting with others to network their businesses is extremely important. However, I am often surprised at how many people don’t put enough effort into purposefully strengthening their network relationships. The fact is, you want to be in solid with the people who constitute your network, and vice versa. You want to be the first name that comes to mind when those in your network scratch their heads and wonder, “Hmmm . . . Whom could I go to with that problem? Who would be a good fit for that referral?”
Going the extra mile provides you several ways to stand out and be positively memorable. Focus on things that you can do to demonstrate the unforgettable value you bring to the table as a network member. Even though our networking is about business, not social relationships, you have to admit that people like people who help them. If you help someone, he or she, in turn, wants to help you.
Take the initiative in developing a relationship with someone who could be of help to you in networking your business. Here are some strategies on how to do this:
1) Be a value-added friend. Focus your attention on the kind of value you bring to the relationships you form.
2) Become a catalyst. Take the lead and be the person who makes things happen.
3) Find an accountability partner–a person to whom you can be accountable, responsible and answerable, and who cares whether (and how effectively) you implement networking strategies and meet the goals you set for your business.
4) Volunteer as a way of building visibility for your business.
5) Send thank-you cards. This is a simple but powerful two-minute activity.
6) Timely follow-up is extremely significant and it is tremendously important in pushing a relationship forward.
Going the extra mile with the people in your network not only expresses your sincerity, but it also opens the door to accept what the law of reciprocity has to offer you and your business.