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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Do You Network Properly And Responsibly?

Well do you?

In case you haven't guessed I'm talking about business networking.

While I was off over Christmas I was idly thinking about business and about networking and it suddenly struck me...

I just wasn't being responsible.

I Was Being Totally Irresponsible

I'd been using the networking meetings as a place to go and have a chat with people.

Yes I know that's what they're for. Except in my case I only chatted.

The reason was I liked to get out of the office and see people and I'd not felt as though I needed to do any real follow-up to networking. All I wanted out of networking was the ability to see some different faces and just generally talk.

Totally Irresponsible of me.

What Was Irresponsible About It?

I'm glad you asked that question!

I meant I was talking to people who had come out with the intention of networking properly. Which means they should have expected me to follow these "networking rules":

  • Ask who would be a good client for them
  • Think of ways to connect them with people I know
  • Get to know them to see if I could use their services
  • Follow-up with them where I could help them
  • Not waste their time just for idle chit-chat
  • Move on when we've both talked about our businesses

So my New Year's resolution is to Network properly. I've already put it into action at one of the meetings I attend and will continue to do so over the next few months until it's "normal networking" for me.

For example I've already emailed a high-Definition DVD film maker's details to a guy who hires and sells AV equipment who was being asked by his clients to recommend one.

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