Networking can prove to be one of the most powerful was to fill your pipeline of clients. In one Gallup study, 50% of people feel networking is wasting time with people. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 % of all jobs are found through networking. Networking offers opportunities and inside track information that you will not find in the newspaper or online. Why? Networking is about building relationships. Networking is not a waste of time if you come from the belief that you are here to build relationships and help people achieve their goals. You are not there to see how many cards you collect or how many cards you can hand out in 30 minutes. You are there to meet new people and nurture relationships that have already formed.
Collecting a stack of business cards on your desk is like throwing away money or as some would say flushing good money down the toilet. I do not think it is the networking that bothers people as it is so much of the issue as it is the follow-up. Many people are afraid to pick up the phone for the fear of rejection, resistance, and being challenged on their knowledge and ability to assist another person. I had the opportunity to assist with a political campaign by phoning residents asking for their support. Most people were polite. Some were not interested. No one yelled at me. I removed emotion and shared information. Remember – not everyone is the right fit. Really, what is the worst thing that will happen?
What happens if you do not take action? Your results are the same now that if you do not take action. The answer is always a “no” until ask or take some form of action. You miss out on developing rich relationships, referrals, meals, and potentially profits. You are in business to make money right? If not, you have a hobby. You are sacrificing your potential to help someone improve their performance, productivity, or profit with your product or service. You have the knowledge, skill, and ability to help others breakthrough barriers and create or innovate new things. If you do not share how you can help them or someone they know, how are they supposed to know about what you can do?
What is worse? You lose out on your opportunity to grow and learn. Each person I meet teaches me about a new concept, idea, or a perspective of how I can better serve others. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and attack that stack of cards on your desk. People may be waiting for your call. They may have lost or misplaced your card. Make the first move.
What do your prospects and customers teach you?