Do you know how to make a Networking Plan?
Large majority of people a networking plan sounds something like this…
Attend 2-3 networking events a week, make at least 3-5 new connections…
but which networking events do you attend and who do you want to connect with?
Let’s STOP and Start by asking a question?
Why do you attend networking events, is it to find people to sell to?
Probably not, if you need something you are more likely to ask your existing network or your social media connections who they trust and recommend, rather than go to a networking event on the chance that you will happen to meet an appropriate supplier or partner. Your chances of success are MUCH higher by asking the oracle of the Internet GOOGLE and doing a Google search.
On the other hand most people think of networking as a strategy for “finding more clients”. Off they go to a networking event with a stack of business cards and their flyer tattooed on their forehead in the form of their sixty second infomercial, looking for people to sell to.
Well if nobody is there to buy and everybody is there to sell (or at least with the hope of a sale in mind) what are the odds of a WIN WIN?…..
So let’s look at it in a different light and different question.
Who would you rather meet?
- A potential client OR
- A potential alliance/JV partner who could potentially connect you with tens, hundreds or even thousands of potential clients.
That’s a NO brainer it’s obviously the second.
Let me pain this picture this way if you are a naturopath and you are looking for more clients you might decide that a great source of leads would be health food shops. So one of your networking objectives would be to connect with the owners of health food shops in your local area, or the people who can introduce you to the owners of health food shops in your geographic area. You may meet potential clients along the way, but how much better to meet a lead source than a lead!
These are the types of people you want to meet at networking events.
Say you’re not in the market for new clients right now?
Even if you are not in the market for new clients right now you can still use your networking activities to connect with people who may be able to help you in other ways in your business or outside your business. In my experience EVERY business goal, strategy or challenge can be achieved more quickly, easily, affordably or profitably with input from other people in some form or another, ranging from referral partners to mentors (and every business owner should have at least one mentor!).
- Now go back and review your business plan, goals and strategies for the year (you do have them don’t you?).
- Now for each goal and strategy in your plan ask yourself the following question: Who (this could be a specific person or a category of business, industry or profession) could help me to achieve that goal or implement this strategy more quickly, easily, affordably, profitably and so on….?
- Now write down a list of people who may be able to help you.
Once you’ve worked out who it is you want to connect with and why, you are 90% of the way towards creating your networking plan. The last step is working out where to connect with them. With that question answered you have created your networking plan.
For Bullring Academy Members please refer to your Mentee Manual.
The Bullring Academy Team
Entrepreneurial Principals: Create Wealth | Have FUN | Behave Ethically
The Bullring Difference. We take the “on-your-own” out of business owners by creating innovative, collaborative communities where members share wisdom, experience, ideas and opportunities guided by certified chartered business mentors. So together everyone achieves more and GROWS more than anyone could by themselves. Together we’re expanding our PIE.