No Time for Networking?Apr 14, 2023
No Time for Networking
by Lynne Waymon and Vern Schellenger
Are you too busy to reconnect and follow up? That’s what many of our clients tell us.
Yet reconnecting and staying in touch is a priority when you want to build a strong network to help advance your career, bring in new business, or gather the best business intelligence to inform future decisions.
So how can you fit the follow-through into your already packed schedule? Try these strategies:
- Do you exercise? Invite someone to walk with you, or enjoy a guest pass at your sports center.
- Do you eat lunch? Instead of inviting one person to lunch, double time it by inviting two people. They might like to get to know each other too.
- Do you belong to professional organizations, but find yourself too pressed to go to monthly meetings? To make sure you go, invite a guest and enjoy reconnecting as you drive to the event and sit together. Bonus: Introduce your guests to others they might like to know.
- Do you follow general or business news? Do so with a few people in mind. When you see something that might be interesting or useful to them, forward it with a short note: “Thought you might be interested”. Or as you read and someone comes to mind, who is interested in the topic, send it on with a message that you hope this information is insightful or helpful.
- Do you volunteer? Ask some contacts if they’d like to join you to whip up the lasagna and deliver it to homeless shelter, or to pick up a hammer for Habitat for Humanity.
- Do you have 5 minutes? That’s all it really takes to reach out to someone in your network and set up a time to have lunch, coffee or a zoom call. Do this twice a month and you’ll have deepen your relationships with 24 people in the year. Odds are good that your contacts will introduce you to new people who may become great connections in your network.
- Try piggy backing – If you’ve got a meeting, plan to have coffee with a contact afterward. Or, after the soccer game, ask a family or friend to join you for pizza.
This 3-Step Strategy helped one of our clients reconnect with 12 people in just one month.
Step 1: Make a list of 6-12 people you’d like to reach out to.
Step 2: Invite them to connect in a way that is comfortable and convenient for both of you.
Step 3: Plan to have questions and topics that will make the conversation flow and help you uncover commonalities and needs that allow you both to learn more about each other AND to help one another whenever possible.