Networking: What’s the Score?, Part 1

So, two questions: How good is your networking? and…

How do you know?

I know when I first started trying to grow my business through networking, I thought I was doing a great job.  I attended events.  I called people. I sent emails. Wasn’t that what I was supposed to do?  The problem was, I had no real clue at what level I was performing and whether my efforts were meeting my needs.  Then I took a great networking class called “Certified Networker” where one of the tools they taught was the “networking scorecard”.

Now, since then, I’ve seen a number of these systems, but they all had the basics in common.  You set up a scorecard of point values for different networking activities.  Each day you record your score.  Suddenly you have a tool which tells you exactly how well you are doing with your networking.  If you can somehow record some metrics about the results you are seeking — sales calls, number of contracts signed, value of those contracts, etc — then you’ve got some real power.

When I started actually tracking my behaviors and results like this, I was amazed.  First of all, I discovered that I wasn’t doing nearly as well as I thought I was.  Then as I increased my level of networking activity, I could see how each increase would increase the frequency of getting a signed contract and how the values of those contracts also increased.  I could also see the delay factor which told me how long it took for an increase in activity to show up in my bottom line.

Is it a perfect science? Not a bit.  But I’ll tell you, when it comes to networking, a close approximation is way better than wandering around in the dark. It’s also such a small amount of effort for such a big return of information, not doing it didn’t make any sense.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to set up a scorecard of your own.

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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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