Developing a network
Networking involves an investment of your time. The amount of time you invest in networking activities should be balanced by the return on that investment. For example, attending all the networking meetings under the sun and collecting hundreds of business cards won't help you achieve your goals if you are not associating with people you can do business with. You might make some new friends, but you're not getting a good return on your investment. In other words, you won't necessarily grow your organisation's business or meet your networking goals.
If you want to grow your business by networking it is imperative that you network with people who are:
- your ideal clients (eg employers and job seekers)
- people who know your ideal clients (eg external agencies, businesses and organisations)
- people who do business with or provide another service to your ideal clients.
When you network with people who need your products and/or services (or know others who do) there will be a natural interest in knowing more about your organisation's products and services. You won't feel like you're trying to sell fridges to Eskimos.