Are you networking or are you working your network? I asked this question of several of my clients, as well as many of my BNI members and in every case they said that they spent a great deal of time working their networks. They attended the regular meeting, connecting with their fellow members, and they indeed did work their network.
Unfortunately that is not the network I was speaking of. That is one of the places that you go to network, I was speaking of “Your” Network. Those people whom you have in your database, those people you have met when you have been out networking. How much time do you put into working your network, calling them up to reconnect, sending articles to them, meeting them for coffee, inviting them to events, or publishing them in your newsletter. Do you track your activities and whom you are spending your time on?
The Referral Institute has a very handy tool called the “Networking Scorecard”. This tool allows you to track the activities that you are spending on your network allowing you to be proactive in your activities with your network. This helps you build a strong network that will be more than willing to help you when you have a need. You will have no problem picking up the phone and calling someone in your network and asking for help. Sometimes it is more important that you spend time developing what you already have, once you have developed your network, then you can spend time adding more to the mix.