Relationship building takes time to see the results of your efforts. It is a necessary aspect of business. At the same, you want to make sure that you are effective and efficient. Otherwise, you may feel like you are wasting your time. Be patient but also pay attention to your techniques.
Below are five reasons to worry about your networking efforts. You may need to make some adjustments.
1. You rarely get referrals - If you are the one always giving our referrals and rarely getting any in return, then it is time to re-evaluate your relationships and the referrals that you are making. Talk to the people who you regularly send referrals. Find out what is working. It may be time to fine-tune the type of referrals that you are making.
2. You attend events and just collect cards - Attending events can be an effective way to meet new people but also to continue building relationships with those who you are already know. At each event, you should make it a goal to meet 1-2 high quality people who you can integrate into your network. However, if you just find yourself collecting cards for the sake of it, then you should re-evaluate who you are talking to and meeting. Make sure to spend time talking to less people and focus on a few high quality people.
3. You hear negative comments about your character - If you are starting to get negative feedback from others, then you may be doing something wrong. The last thing that you want to do is to have a bad image. Pay attention to your actions such as attending meetings on time, discussing positive subjects, and being courteous. You may have fallen off of the "nice" wagon so re-evaluate your actions.
5. You are spending too much time with the wrong people - The more that you attend events, leverage online tools, and get referrals, the more people who you will meet. So, this means that you could potentially be setting up lots of meetings on a weekly basis. Soon you will realize that you are meeting with too many people and some may be a waste of your time and their time. So, try setting up less meetings so you can focus on the most appropriate people to meet. Also, set up more phone calls vs. in person meetings.
What other reasons make you worry about your networking efforts?