Sharpen up and focus your networking in 30 minutes. Try this…
- Get a list of the people in your network — perhaps by exporting from Outlook to Excel.
- What percentage have you initiated contact with in the last six months? If it is a very long list and you want to move fast, randomise the list and check the first 100 names.
- What percentage has initiated contact with you in the last six months?
This can be a little alarming. My guess is that the percentages are going to be pretty low for most people. But, give yourself a break. What you’ve probably done is simply gone through your contact list, not your network. In which case, refine your focus…
- Mark all of the names you would like to be in your network. To get more insight on this point, take a look at a previous post — Networking: Missing a Trick?
- Calculate your percentages again.
Now, how does it look? Hopefully, what you’ve just done has not only identified room for development but has also given you some focus. If so, start to identify goals and plan action to improve the health of your network by finding ways to reach out and reconnect. Remember that this is about relationships, not numbers — the numbers just give you that push to reach out more. Networks thrive on reciprocal value creation. Oh, let’s make a sixth step…
- Check your final list again in three months — go on, put a reminder in your diary!
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