Boss Lady

The power of your network: There is potential in every new contact you make

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We’ve all been conditioned into believing that networking is a formal process. You go to a function or event, you hand out business cards, you follow up – that’s business networking, right?

Well, it is. But it’s not all of it. Networking can and should take place everywhere and not just for business but because people are interesting, they matter, and you never know when someone you just met might turn into a useful contact a year or 10 years farther down the road.

Take Sandy, who once found herself dashing through the gym changing room in a towel and clutching her clothes. An awkward moment found her dropping her clothes on a stranger’s feet and awkwardly wrestling the towel to keep her modesty.

This didn’t stop her from laughing and making a connection with the stranger. That stranger, 2 years later, introduced Sandy to her biggest client. A few more years down the line the stranger’s nephew joined the board of her company.

So, why else should you build a network with everyone that you meet?

You never know what you don’t know

Networking is all about diversification. You meet a ton of people with different skills and talents from you. You nurture the relationships that you make. Then at some later date when an opportunity unexpectedly presents itself – you start connecting the people you know with the opportunity.

Not only did you not know when you met the person how helpful they could be – you’re now in a better position than anyone to make use of the opportunity.

Networking is a long-term investment

Think about Sandy. When her clothes hit the floor and she stammered her first “hello” to the stranger in the locker room – she wasn’t expecting an immediate pay off. Nor did she get one.

If you want to network well, you have to view networking as a positive way to contribute to other people’s lives. When you build relationships from the perspective of helping others – your networks last.

That means even if you haven’t seen someone in years, when you reach out and ask for a little help yourself, they’re always pleased to hear from you and ready to lend a hand.

Sandy reached out years later. So, can you if you network well with everyone.

Networking is better than cold calling

If you network effectively, there comes a point when everyone in your network should know what you do and how well you do it.

Then, when they come into contact with another person seeking similar skills to yours – they ought to be putting you forward for the opportunities they’ve discovered.

This beats cold calling in two respects – one, you didn’t have to make any calls and two, a person that the client trusts is putting you forward and a personal recommendation is always better than a call from a random stranger.

Networking can help with recruitment too

We all need clients but with new clients comes a need for new employees. In fact, a good employee can turn out to be your business’s biggest asset.

Where better to find a new person than from your network, you know they know you and will recommend someone who is not just a skill fit but also a personal fit. You get someone with similar ethics and a compatible approach to your own.

Conclusion

There’s no such thing as coincidence in life. You can make your own luck in life and in business and networking is one of the best ways to make your luck even better. No matter how good you are – you can be better with a little help. Reach out to someone new, today and see what springs from it!

About Kelly Lavery

Kelly Lavery is a perpetual motion machine. When she is not assisting her husband in his chiropractic clinic or parenting three children, she is looking for ways to make life easier for others. When she had her third child many years after the first two, she was thrown back into a world of nappies and spit rugs. Faced with buckets of mess and messy kids, she thought there had to be a better way. So began the journey and evolution as a innovator and inventor. The Strucket was born – a combination of a bucket and strainer. Through Kelly’s tenacity and nous, the Strucket has been picked up big retailers, featured on TV and is becoming a household name.

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