Building relationships takes time and effort. You should not expect to see results of your actions in the immediate short-term. All good things come to people who wait.
Networking Mindset = Build Relationships for the Long Term
The above equation is what you need to be thinking if you want to benefit from networking. If you expect that you will generate a sale or form a partnership fairly quickly after you meet someone, then you will be disappointed. Would you marry someone if you only had one date? For most people, the answer is, not surprising, “no”. You want to get to know this person before you make a commitment. Well, this is the same for business relationships as well.
So, you need to be thinking more long term when you meet people. Spend time with people by getting to know them and finding ways to help. By developing your relationships this way, you will get to know people better and form friendships first. After all, people like to do business with others they consider friends.
Over time, you will build trust, credibility, and friendship so it will be a no brainer for your contacts to come to you when they are ready to purchase from you. At the same time, you will become good referral sources for each other, which is just as good, if not better, then only buying directly from each other. The more people you have referring prospective clients to you, the more scalable you can become. Also, make sure that you refer business as well.
Don’t Think Short-Term
If you are not patient and only think short-term, then you will not be able to build quality relationships. Plus, you will always be thinking about your next relationship or sale. In order for you to become an effective relationship builder, you need to have a quality Rolodex of people who you can count on.
When meeting someone for the first time, if you try to sell yourself right away, then you will turn this person off. People with this approach give networking a bad name. It is time for people to stop treating networking this way. You are not cold calling when you attend events or get referred to someone. You are building a relationship so give the other person the time and respect that is deserved.
Even if some people are not immediate fits, they may know someone who is a good fit. So, take every relationship serious.
Build One Relationship at a Time
Focus on building one relationship at a time. It is better to have quality relationships rather than a quantity of relationships. Spend the time getting to know people one by one. Plus, it easier to manage a few good relationships.
It is impossible to get close with everyone who you meet, so pick only the people who you connect with and want to get to know better. With this in mind, you will be able to build deeper relationships and tap into the networking of these people. So again, you are making yourself more scalable.
Be patient, build a few quality relationships, and reap the rewards.