I went out one beautiful Saturday morning for an exhibition. On my way back, I saw some beautiful flowers along the lawn and I picked some. When I got back home, I dropped them in a flower pot, didn’t even bother to put some water in them. The very next day, I repeated the same thing.
I continued like that……….on and on, days after days, weeks after weeks, it was becoming a habit, I was loving the idea of collecting flowers but there was a problem. I kept on gathering them without taking care of them. All I wanted to do was pick them up and keep them in the flower pot at home not considering the fact that I had to take care of them by giving them the required amount of water and sunlight they needed. I wasn’t even concerned about the number of flowers I could manage at a time in my small flower pot. One day, they were all dead.
Many times, when we go to networking events, we end up collecting a thousand business cards not minding if we can successfully manage the relationship with all these people. We don’t even keep in touch to remind them that they have made a new friend so that a proper relationship can be established (No Sunlight, No Water). We only call months after when going through our pile of business cards, searching for someone who can help us with one thing or the other. When we collect too many cards, at the end of the day, we don’t even know who is who when viewing the cards afterwards and this has destroyed some beautiful relationships from springing up. I gave so much thought to this and so I decided to put down a few tips to help us network better.
1. Be sure that whoever you exchange your card with is someone you have interest in and someone who has interest in you or, someone with whom you have a common interest. It helps you connect easily to the person without coming across as a parasite.
2. Make sure you place a call across to that person within one week of meeting the person, it refreshes the person’s mind about you and creates a proper foundation to start building the relationship.
3. Check up on the person from time to time. Social media has made this easier; it could be by liking a post or just dropping a comment on the person’s post.
4. Lastly, identify the number of relationships you can effectively manage over a period of time; research says you can only successfully manage not more than 150 to 200 relationships at once.
It is most important to know that Networking is not just about meeting people, but basically about building relationships. Let’s go out and build productive relationships which we can effectively maintain.