We all have people in our lives we were really close with at one time. Can you think back to some of your high school and college friends, or people you hung out with during your early, wild years? For whatever reason, people were in your life for a while, and now they aren’t? They now travel in different circles, and that gives you a greater opportunity to greatly enhance your business development than if you had remained in contact.
If you sincerely enjoyed their company in the past, wouldn’t you like to see them again? Why not take the time to reconnect, you may find them as likeable as before, and they could be a great source of referrals for your current life? You can add the circles they are traveling in now to yours.
Some people think of networking as being very daunting. The question is, “How do you eat an elephant,” and the answer is, “One forkful at a time!” Continuity of networking, one foot in front of the other, gets you to the finish line. No one said it was easy, it is called, net-WORKING, for a reason. Successful people do what regular people can do but won’t do.
Networking must become deliberate, part of your steady priorities. Most businesspeople, especially those in sales, speak of the peaks and valleys. When things are great, when they get busy, they determine business development through networking is not a priority. When the business slows down, they wonder what happened. Grow the size of your business to your networking efforts, making it a priority and you will eradicate your valleys.
When I hear people say they have too much business, I wonder what they are doing inside of their companies to expand to handle more? It isn’t a matter of capping your business, it is figuring out what is needed to expand to the growth. It is a myth that you can’t do more business development, but a truth that most people are too lazy to grow.
Inventory the source of your referrals.
- Who are the top 4-5 people that send you business, and why? How did you get connected to them? If you could double those 4-5 people, why wouldn’t you, what is your plan for doing so?
- If you are in a business development organization, divide it into business classifications and start making one-on-one appointments with your top categories and commit to regular breakfast/lunch meetings.
- Look at all the people you have a casual relationship with and see if you have any diamonds in the rough that you can smooth and polish into referral sources.
- Any organization you belong to has business for you, whether it is religious, charity, or public service, you just have to look for it. Which you will do when you make networking a priority.
The great networkers remind me of optimists, and the poor ones, the pessimists; I think this story gives the best example between the two. The pessimist sees a pile of horse manure as just that. The optimist sees it, grabs a shovel, and starts digging, because where there is a pile of manure, there has to be a pony in there somewhere!
Focus consistently on your business development, lose the valleys, and look for “ponies” in everything.
Copyright Wayne A. Curto 2020