Sunday, December 9, 2012

Three Steps to an In-Person Business Networking Plan

With only three weeks until 2013 it is a perfect time to think about what you want to accomplish in your networking next year. This week we’ll work on our 2013 in-person networking plan and next week we’ll construct our online networking plan.

Whether you want to build a deeper bullpen of resources to better serve your clients, create strategic alliances to help expand your business, have introductions to great candidates for your open staff positions, or develop a steady stream of warm referrals to help you achieve your 2013 growth goals having a plan will help you get there.

Three Step Networking Plan

  1. TIME AVAILABLE - On average, how many hours can you allocate to networking each month? We recommend estimating a monthly number as many networking events are monthly.
  2. TIME AVAILABLE FOR EVENTS - Multiply your monthly networking available hours by .4 or 40% to get your time available for events. We suggest allocating your available time as follows 40% event participation, 40% one-on-one meetings, and 20% follow up and staying connected.
  3. CHOOSE YOUR ORGANIZATIONS/EVENTS - Often scarcity helps us make better choices. When you limit the time available to go to events you will choose better events and you will get more out of those events. Based on whom you want to meet and your available time, decide which organizations and events you should commit to.

Example Plan
This example plan is based on having 20 hours available to network each month. Your availability will likely be different.

  • Monthly event schedule - 8 hours
    • List organizations and events
    • prioritize by most to least valuable for you
  • Monthly one-on-one meeting availability - 8 hours. If you’re going to go over budget on anything this is where to do it. Meeting with and building relationships with the right people IS NETWORKING.
  • Monthly follow up and management availability - 4 hours
    • Reconnect with people
    • Pass valuable information
    • Continue to invest in relationships
    • Manage your database

Of course the key to any plan is not just authorship but the implementation. The written plan gives you direction and your actions give you speed and together they yield progress. Assure great business networking results in 2013 by creating your plan today!

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