I created a survey of 12,000 men and women for one of my most recent books. As my co-authors and I explored the extent to which survey respondents correlated success and networking, we discovered that most of the people who credit networking for some of their success also maintain a system for measuring the dollar value of their networking activity. Conversely, most of the respondents who said networking played no role in their success had no system for tracking any money generated by their participation in networking groups.
In a world where news media frequently reports the latest sports scores, stock market numbers, and even the weekendâ€™s top-grossing films, wouldnâ€™t you think common sense would motivate business networkers to track how much theyâ€™re making from their efforts?
Unfortunately, common sense isnâ€™t all that common.
In the survey, more respondents said they did not have a system than said they did have one. More important, women said that they did not have a system to follow up more than men did! It is easy to see that the more systematic you learn to make your networking the more productive you are going to be.
Male or female, having a system is key to success. However, for women, this can really be a major key for them. Why is this?
Women have fewer hours to actually spend networking. They often have to balance family responsibilities from getting kids off to school in the morning to getting them to their after-school activities, home for dinner, and off to bed. Add to that all the other activities that they need to take care of in a given day and there is little time for networking.
Having systems to follow up and stay in touch allows for more productive activities and results from networking activities. There is no way to create success if your success is out in â€œairy-fairyâ€ land. Hard facts and data tell you what you are doing well and what you are not doing at all. Tracking is a key factor in success.
There are so many things that need to be tracked:
- What organizations you belong to and what results you are getting from them?
- How much time are you spending networking and working your network?
- How much money have you made as a result of your activities?
- Who is sending you referrals, and how much of your income are they responsible for?
You must have systems around all the tracking as well as systems for:
- Following up with those people you meet
- Staying in touch with your network members
- Rewarding your referral sources
- How you are going to help your referral sources
Here is the key point: If you learn to use good systems, it will allow you to get better results in much less time. This will free up more of your time for family and personal life. The work and time is upfront developing and implementing the system. On the backside, you will spend much less time going out networking and more time working in your network.
Called the â€œfather of modern networkingâ€ by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the worldâ€™s largest business networking organization. His newest book can be viewed at www.BusinessNetworkingandSex.com. Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company.
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