The Ever-Evolving Networker

Some habits you should break.
Others you want to establish.

We’ve covered more than a few techniques, systems, and behaviors over these many months. Some of these you are probably already doing and feel quite comfortable with. There are probably one or two that you aren’t doing, though.

So when are you going to give them a try?

One of the traits of the great networkers I’ve spoken with is that they are always looking for new ways to make their networking practice more effective and efficient. They’ve long come to the realization that they only have 24 hours in the day. If they want to improve their results, then they need to improve their process, because they don’t have time to work any harder.

Now, just as with any other area of our lives, change is a process. Supposedly it takes 21 days to establish a new habit, working every single day for just fifteen minutes. Of course, that means focusing on one habit that you want to achieve not five of them. So what habits might you want to start making a part of your practice? Here are some general areas:

Metrics and Records: Pick one new thing to measure or record on a daily basis. Are you going to maintain your scorecard? How about checking your results? Perhaps you would prefer to update your tickler file or set up your daily networking log page. Whatever it is, remember that what gets measured, gets improved.

Behavior: Maybe you are good about sending email, but you don’t make that many phone calls. Maybe you’d like to send more hand-written notes. How about making a greater effort to find referrals for your network?

Technique: When was the last time that you asked someone about their interests as opposed to what they do for a living? Maybe you’d like to try describing your business in a new way. Could you come up with a more specific and clear way of telling someone about your target market? Could you practice it daily?

Information: Are you known as an expert in your business? Are you providing some of your information for free? How about a daily writing practice? Could you spend time on a daily basis preparing new presentations to give to interested groups? Here’s an easy one: Look for an article each day to send out to some member of your network.

The cool thing about consistently practicing a behavior on a daily basis is that after about three or four weeks, it is easier to continue following the behavior than it is to stop doing so. I know what I’m talking about here. I have been writing every day in this blog since January. Now the thought of missing a day doesn’t even enter my mind. Each night I sit down at around 11pm, open up my list of topics that I have with me at all times, and let the ideas flow into the computer and out onto the ‘Net.

It’s not always easy, and certainly not always good, but it’s definitely worth every moment I spend.

Photo credit: Chris Chidsey

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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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