Yesterday we talked about the benefits of using some form of a networking scorecard. Basically, this tool allows you to track how well you are doing with your networking and what you can do if you want to increase it.
So, let’s supposed that I’ve convinced you of the value of such a beast. How would you go about creating a system for yourself?
Step 1. Make a list of all of the networking activities you currently do. These might include short phone calls, long phone calls, email messages, attending events, etc. Now add those you have considered doing. How about inviting someone to an event, passing along an article to someone, or writing a testimonial for someone? Heck, throw in a few that you think are really out there, but might be worth investigating. Some of the items that might fall under this category would be speaking at an event, finding someone else a speaking opportunity, throwing a party for your friends and clients, or starting a Mastermind Group.
Step 2. Assign each item on the list a point value. For me, the base score is one point for an email or short phone call. Now, in general, I recommend assigning higher points to activities which benefit others more. In fact, any activity which benefits you directly (whether through contracts signed or income achieved) I wouldn’t give any points at all. These are “results” which we will deal with below.
Step 3. Create a spreadsheet using your favorite program. Set up a number of fields, something like name, date, activity, points, notes. Nothing complicated.
Step 4. Pick a time each day when you can record your networking activities and total up your networking score for the day. At the end of the week, total it up for the week.
Step 5. Track whatever results you are trying to achieve through your networking. Whether you are trying to get more sales calls, more contracts signed, or more dollars coming in, whatever, just come up with a number that you can track.
Step 6. After you’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks, look at your results scores. Are they where you want them to be? Now look at your weekly networking scores. If you want to improve your results, you’ll need to raise your average weekly networking score. Take a look at your activities list. Could you add something to your repertoire that would bump up your score a notch?
Now, do remember that nothing in networking is going to be immediate. Depending on your industry and your goals, the results could take weeks, months, even up to a year to come about. Also, while you are definitely tracking your results, when you are actually performing your networking activities, you must temporarily suspend your self-interest. Your goal is to serve the interests of your network. They will take care of the reciprocity.
Try this out for even a few weeks and you will be surprised at how much your score changes. As with most things, that which is measured, gets improved. Start scoring your network today so you can start reaping the benefits of a stronger network tomorrow.