Are you ready to fly?

When I was a computer programmer, my life was all about systems. I mean, that’s basically what a programmer does — create systems so that the computer can take care of repetitive tasks without (much) human intervention. The thing about systems is, it helps people perform consistently at a higher level that they could without. Think about a pilot preparing to fly that plane you are on. You wouldn’t want her to skip that checklist would you?

I’ve noticed the best networkers share that pilot’s systematic approach when it comes to their networking. They have databases, scripts, and procedures, all to make their networking as effective and efficient as possible. So, what benefits could the rest of us receive from applying their systems-oriented approach to networking?

  1. Efficiency. They don’t have to re-invent the wheel each time they practice networking. Imagine what your job would be like if each time you came to work, you had to figure out the whole job all over again. Do you think you would take a productivity hit?
  2. Consistency. Because they have a series of steps to follow and know what they are supposed to be doing with their networking at any given time, they are less likely to have gaps in their behavior. Success in networking is more about consistent effort rather than occasional intense activity.
  3. Improvement. Since they have a set practice, they are more likely to be successful in measuring their outcomes and tying them to their efforts. This allows them to work on those activities to improve their results. Inconsistent behavior is largely not measurable and, therefore impossible to improve.
So, what behaviors could you systematize? How about what you do with the business cards you collect? How you set up your one-to-ones? What you talk about during those morning coffees? How you ask for referrals? How you measure your networking activity?
The sky’s the limit and with a few systems in place, you’ll be ready to fly!
Photo by Greg Peters