Savvy business leaders understand the importance of skilled networking and relationship development. Obviously some are better at it than others. But all generally “get the need.”
However, many view networking narrowly, i.e. it is externally focused, sales-related and mostly about developing new business with existing customers and new ones in traditional target markets.
In many organizations only a few people at the top help make rain. Why? Imagine the power of getting all of your people networking and building relationships of all sorts that will benefit your organization.
Networking is much more powerful than to limit it to just a few people doing it with the narrow goals of bumping up sales a little. A key point we drive home in our high impact coaching programs is that networking, when done the right way, can be a game changer and a huge competitive advantage in creating a high energy culture and building a thriving profitable business. Everybody can learn and develop these skills.
Just to get you thinking, here are some other reasons and keys ways to leverage networking efforts, including:
- Finding and recruiting new talent. See example below re: how I found a couple of talented young people.
- Identifying potential new suppliers. There are almost always better resources out there for you to evaluate.
- Creating strong strategic alliance partners. In this fast paced, complicated world, going it alone often does not make sense.
- Knocking down the silos and getting through the layers within organizations that stunt growth, prevent team work, slow innovation and cripple cultures.
- Uncovering new geographical and sector markets to evaluate and possibly pursue
- Monitoring competition. Do you really know who your U.S. and international competitors are?
- Learning about new technologies. None of us can keep pace with the speed of tech developments
- Finding new facilities. Maybe you are expanding at a current location or opening new facilities elsewhere or consolidating and downsizing.
- Identifying possible merger or acquisition candidates if that is part of your strategy
- Discreetly pinpointing possible buyers of your business if it is exit time
- Uncovering special consultants, advisors or free-lancers to help you navigate through a particular opportunity or challenge or to be an ongoing source of important wisdom as members of your outside advisory team or board of directors.
Besides a list like this, effective networking is a great time saver if your network of quality connections is robust enough. Too many people think networking is too time consuming. Wrong! The right kind of networking is a huge time saver. Plus there are many more specific ways to leverage business related, successful networking and relationship development efforts. We would welcome any additions you might want to suggest to this list. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides business gains there are plenty of life enhancing benefits that are achievable if you network. Here are just two recent examples:
- My good friend Jeanette Bronee, author of Eat to Feel Full and head of her own New York City based health counseling firm, Path for Life Self Nourishment Center invited me to attend one of her book signings at Tay Tea: Gourmet Teas in Andes, NY – a three hour drive each way.
After the book signing we had dinner with Jeanette and her husband at Brushlands, a totally out of the way restaurant in Bovina, NY. Don’t miss it. It’s worth the drive but make reservations! Jeanette is a powerful resource for anyone wanting to take more effective control of their health. She has a global client base.
- Recently I was networked by a Dean to a Professor in the liberal arts program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She offered me an opportunity to speak with a summer class of graphic design students at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). The topic was networking as a key to uncovering and developing terrific career opportunities. All the students were impressive with their portfolios, attention and questions. We had a great two hour conversation. Every one of them followed up with me via email within 24 hours. Many suggested we meet over morning coffee which I have done with several.
As a result, I have found two, exceptionally talented, recently graduated graphic design students. Both are working with me to design and produce the web site and book I have written about networking.
NEED GRAPHIC DESIGN HELP? If you need some graphic design talent for your organization (logos, web sites, collateral materials, videos, films and more) and if you send me an email outlining your requirements I will be happy to connect you with one or more of the very talented young graphic designers I met at FDU recently including the two I am using on my book and for other projects: Walter Franks and Ope Sokan.
Let’s Work Together
I would welcome an opportunity to discuss how our team can coach your people at any level how to use networking and relationship developments skills to drive the profitable growth of your business while they accelerate their own careers.