With summer upon us and networking in hiatus due to summer breaks, now is a great time to do some analysis and evaluation in relation to the money and time you are investing in networking.
Let’s be real here. Networking is expensive – in terms of time, money, and energy.
If your networking isn’t meeting a stated need (such as by establishing solid connections that lead to referrals, partnership, or collaboration or to clients who purchase our services) one has to consider: is it the right place to network? Is it worth the outlay of time, energy, and money we are investing?
Hard questions for sure, but questions that need to be answered. This is, after all, a business decision and needs to be made from a place of logic.
I say this with an eye towards being strategic about how we use our networking time and energy, not because I do not believe that networking is a valuable business tool, but because I understand how valuable networking can be.
I often wonder if we attend “comfortable” networking events without any great thought around whether they lead to business or not. Do we really need to attend those networking meetings every month? Can we not be more strategic and choose to go quarterly to that monthly event, giving us time (and money) to try new networking groups and connect 1-on-1 with those we’ve met along the way? These are personal decisions and only you know what will work for you and your business.
However, I challenge you to use the summer lull to examine your current networking by asking yourself these questions.
Which networking events do you enjoy most? Why?
What networking conversation starters / questions have helped you nurture long-term relationships?
Which networking events are connecting you with your ideal clients? Why? Why not?
Which networking events are great for expanding your partnership / collaborative opportunities?
Which networking events are moving you consistently towards your stated goals?
Which networking opportunities are bringing you the best return on investment?
Will you join me in taking this challenge?
In this month’s addition of the newsletter the focus is on networking – and how it can help you grow your business. As you read it consider your current approach to networking and consider the questions you asked, your approach, and where you are finding “your people.” Don’t be afraid to try new things or to ask questions. That’s how we learn.
We’d love to hear how your networking assessment unfolds: what you learn and if it shifts networking this fall. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment on Facebook at /hipstrategic, or give us a call – we’d love to chat.