When talking about networking, one thing should come first – the meaning of the word: Networking.
The true meaning of the English word can be found in the 2 words that build networking – Net (like fishermen's) and Work.
The main idea in networking is using a system of personal connections in order to promote goals and ideas of the network members.
We need to think about our network like a fishermen's net. We can cover larger area with less effort and time. We can use our net for every purpose but fishing net requires maintains – a lot of it.
What does it mean – to maintain the network?
Well – first thing first. Giving business cards in a party – isn't networking. Is nice, we do it often, it's not networking. Networking is all about building strong, solid relationship with others people and this is were most people go wrong. They don't try to or they can't maintain their network properly, and when they need something or they are looking for something and they try to do it throw the net work – they fail.
Building and maintaining your network is a full time job. But with the modern tools we have today – there is no reason to lose connection in first place.
So – how to build and maintain your network in 6 simple steps:
1. Give first – than ask: the most important role of networking. Give the other side first, and then think about yourself and about your goals.
2. Anyone is a member of your network: never underestimate someone. Anyone you meet and develop a relationship with is your most important member. Treat everybody with the same respect and treat him as best as you can. Listen to him, help him solve his problems – how knows, maybe he's connected to the man you desire the most to know.
3. Nurture your network daily: personal mail, phone calls, lunch, whatever. Make it a daily routine to work on your network. Connect with the people in your network; send them articles that will interest them. Refer prospect to them.
4. become available: a friend gave you a referral – deal with it as fast as you can. You we're invited to lunch – go for it. People should know that you are there for them always. Devote 30 minutes a day to develop new connections. You can find the people you want on LinkedIn, or google on company you wish to do business with to find a name. use your network to reach him.
5. Br active – refer, call, meet, participate BNI meeting, be on LinkedIn, just be there!
6. remember – it's not the quantity but the quality that meters, it's not about the number of people in your CRM it's about the number of people you can call and they will answer immediately that meters.
Good luck networking.