How Do You Know Whether You Have a Viable and Solid Network? by Sandra Yancey

When it comes to networking, it’s not at all about the number of names and addresses you have – that is only a database. Your network is defined very differently. Here’s a clever way to measure whether you have a powerful relationship network.

Ask yourself this question: “If you were arrested today for networking effectively, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

Imagine for a moment the number of people who would be passionate to speak as your witness, to stand in line in the cold, rain or blistering heat so they could convince a jury that they know from personal experience that you are guilty – guilty of helping others achieve their dreams. Now, if the number of witnesses in your defense is small, don’t worry.

Just think of the opportunity that is in front of you! So now it’s your turn. I’ve got five exercises to help you get started to become the powerful relationship networker I know you can be.

1. Remember back over the last year, and think of two people whom you’ve been meaning to bring together. Send each a note of introduction to the other. Better yet, splurge by offering to connect them both at a local coffee house. Stay for 20 minutes or so to make the introductions, start the conversation, and ensure that rapport and connection has been established. Then excuse yourself early and let the connection between the two you’ve introduced take on a life of its own as they begin to collaborate.

2. Go back over the last month and recall all the times you networked. Were there promises you made to someone that you just haven’t had time to keep, or for some other reason, neglected to keep? Don’t procrastinate another minute. Make that happen today.

3. Take inventory of your networking constituents. Discover any gaps in your network. Develop a plan that focuses on the strategies you will follow in order to address these gaps within a certain period of time.

4. Send a thank-you note in one form or another to two people who specifically helped you get new business in the past few months. Buy a number of thank-you cards, put stamps on the blank envelopes, and stash them in a variety of places (such as the glove compartment in your car, your journal, a desk drawer, and your purse). Start the habit of sending at least two or three thank-you notes a week. It may seem like a monumental task at first, but you will soon learn to incorporate that action into your day.

5. Consider three things you plan to buy in the next month – small or large – and see whether you can find women-owned or women-run businesses in your area to buy from. Don’t hesitate to let them know that part of your decision to do business with them is because you want to support women. Get good service somewhere? Make sure you tell ten other women about it!

Developing great relationships and a solid network takes persistence and consistency. The opportunities will be endless and the results will be profound.

Shout out to: Sandra Yancey, Founder & CEO of eWomenNetwork

Try using  www.sendoutcards.com/loryfabian as a system to help build better relationships . SendOutCards.com/loryfabian is a great tool to use for following up, sending out thank you notes, or showing customer appreciation.

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Posted on August 30, 2012, in Appreciation, Building Relationships, Gratitude, Staying Connected. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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