People who say that networking played a role in their success spent an average of 6 1/2 hours a week networking and had half of their clients from their networking time. However, people who did not invest as much time networking also did not report as much reward.
Therefore, spend about 8-10 hours per week networking and do the right things to build the relationships first when networking.
By knowing why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to plan accordingly and get great, measurable results.
As a business networking strategist, Andy Lopata works with companies on how to use networking tools to develop their businesses. Networking is not just about sales. Whether for lead generation, breaking down silos internally, recruitment and retention of top staff or developing future leaders, networks and collaboration have a key role to play. Andy works with clients to help recognize that role and put the strategy and skills in place to leverage it.
As most of you who read this blog are avid networkers, it’s highly likely you are already familiar with Keith Ferrazzi. If you aren’t, however, I can tell you that if the dictionary had a photo to accompany the definition of “master networker,” the photo would be of Keith. He is absolutely the epitome of a master networker, and he has the most diverse group of contacts of anyone I’ve ever known.
Keith’s first book, Never Eat Alone, is a bestseller and the entire premise of the book is that networking over a meal is an absolutely amazing way to build rapport and trusted relationships with people. After I read it, I found myself constantly referring to it in conversation and recommending it to people because it really is true–something magical and companionable happens when people break bread together.
I wanted to share this video with you today because, in it, Keith talks about his own key strategies for hosting networking dinner parties, and I think the “dinner party tactic” is one that not a lot of networkers have dabbled with. I would love to see networkers around the world, both novice and seasoned, experience the amazing, relationship-building power that hosting a purposeful dinner party can have.
Keith believes that the strongest links have been forged at the table. Because of this, he has mastered the art of throwing a networking dinner party and, in his networking content, he consistently emphasizes the power that throwing a dinner party can have in creating memories and strengthening relationships. He is quick to mention, however, that if we continue to have dinner parties with the same people, our circle will never grow. His solution is to identify and invite “anchor tenants” to your party. These are people who are related to your core group but who know different people, have experienced different things, and thus have much to share. They tend to be the people who have had a positive influence on your friends’ lives. It’s akin to inviting the CEO to the manager’s table, as Ferrazzi says. Soon other executives will want to be there too.
I had the opportunity to experience one of Keith’s networking parties firsthand and the anchor guest that night was the legendary author Gore Vidal. Providing the entertainment was America’s oldest collegiate a capella group, the Whiffenpoofs of Yale. Clearly, not all of us will be able to get Gore Vidal and the Whiffenpoofs at our networking party, but I’m guessing that Keith didn’t have them at his first party either. However, the strategy is sound and I encourage you to try out the concept as a way of building your visibility in the community. Keith has paid close attention to how a meal can most appropriately be leveraged for a business networking opportunity; the primary focus should always be on developing the relationship–learning about each other, helping one another with problems, and giving ourselves.
I invite you to visit KeithFerrazzi.com to learn more about Keith, and I highly encourage you to check out his content on networking–it’s absolutely fantastic!
Someone I met recently used an expression that I got a big kick out of yet it really resonated with me at the same time. Talking about a networker she knew, she said to me, “The guy is a Networking Vampire!”
Watch this video to find out what exactly a “Networking Vampire” is and then come back and weigh in on how to spot them (they can often be very elusive–do you have a trick/strategy for discovering them?) and what to do about them once you identify them.
Also, if you have any interesting stories about experiences you’ve had with Networking Vampires, share them in the comment section . . . ve vant to hear dem! Bwah-ahh-aahh-aaahhh-aaaahhhh!! 😉
So, how do you keep business on the up and up amidst a constant onslaught of challenges that require you and your business to change and adapt?
Watch this short video for some powerful tips from my good friend and author of The Solutions Focus, Dr. Mark McKergow.
You’ll learn, like I have, that one of the most important things a business owner can do to strengthen and grow their business is to operate on a daily basis by focusing on solutions. Mark always says that if a company focuses primarily on problem, they become an expert at problems–instead, they need to focus on solutions!
After you’ve watched the video, come back and leave a comment to let me know which of Mark’s tips was the most valuable for you.
If you’re a good networker, you know that by looking for ways to refer those in your network and referring them any chance you get, they’ll be anxious to return the favor and you will get more referrals as a result.
This video talks about how my friend Mohammad Favakeh, owner of Monte Carlo Chauffeured Transportation (www.mctlimo.com), has put a new and interesting twist on a technique which I’ve been recommending for years that makes it easy for people to refer their networking partners.
Watch the video and you’ll see how easy it is. Really–all you need is a simple card file and it’s a great technique for anybody who wants to build their network!
The book won’t be released until early next year but I’ve already received several requests for more details in regard to what the book is going to be all about. In light of that, Frank, Hazel and I decided to make a short video for those who are curious to learn more about our upcoming book. The video is only a few minutes long and you can view it by clicking on the link above.
I’d love to hear what you think of the concept of the book, or even of just the video, so please feel free to leave a comment.
The short, eight-minute video, sponsored by NetworkingNow.com and the Referral Institute, discusses the history and significance of this exciting, celebratory week which will be recognized across the globe this coming February 7-11, 2011 (Mark your calendar now! :)), and it also explains a concept many networkers fail to recognize but which all networkers need to be aware of–the ‘networking disconnect’.
This is the fifth year for International Networking Week®and it is now recognized by many countries around the world, with thousands of events being held during the Week. One of the main goals of the Week is to help businesspeople everywhere build their networking skills; don’t wait until the last minute to join in the celebration and start the year off as a better networker–watch the video now, find an event in your area, and come back and let me know what you’ll be doing to recognize International Networking Week®.
Years ago I wrote about a great technique to get people to come to me for their referral needs. However, I recently saw a modern twist to this great idea that I’d like to share with you today.
Here’s a little background information on the original concept:
Since the late ’80s I’ve been training people to use a little networking trick that will enable them to give referrals to more people (which of course leads to getting more referrals for themselves). I talk about this trick in one of my early columns for Entrepreneur.com as well as a blog I wrote last year entitled: Use This Networking Trick to Increase Business.
In a nutshell, the technique is to compose a letter that you give to your clients and contacts which states that an important part of your business is to give referrals to people looking for services that you recommend (you can find a more detailed explanation, along with a sample letter, by clicking on the link given above).
Here’s the interesting, modern twist:
Terry Burkot has created a 21st century version of this same networking technique by adding video to the equation. She still sends a personal message to all the people in her network; however, she doesn’t write a letter, she instead sends a video message which really utilizes the tools we have available to us in this world full of constantly-evolving technology.
Terry used my idea (which was so last century :)) and really improved on it. Well done, Terry!
I’d love to hear your comments on what you think of this modern twist to networking.