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.