Time Equals Money in Networking

The secret to getting more business through networking is . . . spend more time doing it! OK, well, it’s a little more complicated than that because you have to spend time doing the right things.  However, based on the recently completed Referral Institute study on business networking, we finally have a definitive answer about how the amount of time spent networking impacts the amount of business that is generated.

The most dramatic statistic I have found shows that people who said “networking played a role” in their success spent an average of 6.5 hours a week participating in networking activities. On the other hand, the majority of people who claimed that “networking did NOT play a role” in their success spent only 2 hours or less per week developing their network.

What does this mean? It means there is a direct correlation between the amount of time you devote to the networking process and the degree of success that you realize from it. To illustrate this further, there is a graph below which demonstrates the “average” percentage of business generated from someone’s networking efforts in comparison with the amount of time spent on networking activities.  Here you can clearly see that people who are spending between five to nine hours a week networking are generating (on average) 50 percent of their total business from this activity. 

People who spend, on average, more than 20 hours a week networking are getting almost 70 percent of their business through referrals.

Based on this study, it is clear that people who devote six hours a week or more to networking are generating a large percentage of their business through their efforts. So, it’s time to ask yourself . . . how much time are you spending developing your personal network and what kind of results are you starting to see?

6 thoughts on “Time Equals Money in Networking

  1. SO TRUE!!! I can tell from my own experience that networking takes time, it can be one of the greatest and even one of the most effective sources to do business, but that will only depend on the time spent. And that makes it all more complicated than what it looks like. I found myself asking other entrepreneurs for tips to manage my time better in order to handle my business networking activity and, as a matter of fact I am still searching for the effective formula. One of the advices I gave to someone asking for this at startups.com was to consider delegating some tasks. But now that I read the article and think about it, 6.5 hours is a lot of time, there should be a team dedicated only to networking.
    It is incredible how reading good articles can make us realize about important stuff. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. 20 hours is quite a bit but I like to think I get my fair share in between our real estate seminars, Pleasant Hill Chamber, BNI and Realtor in Motion meetings. Don’t forget the daily run to Starbucks.

  3. I think that these stats are really encouraging, because it is really easy to want to give up on networking when you’re not getting the results you want when you want them by. It’s a great idea to make sure you’re giving your 100% to this effort — as word of mouth referrals are everything –before cutting back on what could be key to the sustainability of your business.

  4. Your are so right that time is money.

    As a business coach I frequently ask my clients what their time is worth when they are doing what they do and getting paid for it. Therefore, any time spent on marketing, networking, or whatever they do is either producing or costing that much per hour.

    We’ll also determine “what it costs to acquire a client”. So, if they are only getting one new client every two months from networking 5 hours a week, or it takes 40 hours of networking to get a client, depending on how much that client is worth to them, we may have to spend time to fix their networking process until we are acquiring a client at a reasonable cost.

    Networking isn’t free, although most people do it because they don’t have to spend any upfront fees. Whatever we do to acquire a client, paid advertising, networking, or any other way, we need to determine what the total cost to acquire aq client is, and networking has a cost of time, so we MUST make it work at a reasonable cost to acquire a client.

  5. I agree that the more you commit to networking the more you get from it, but even then, only under one condition. Now you’ve done your part, make sure that those you are networking with are doing their part.

    You want to network with those that believe as you do. A good BNI chapter can be one of those places to network because they are working from the giver’s gain philsophy.

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