The other day I retweeted someone’s post on Twitter which stated that most entrepreneurs network with too many people. I simply couldn’t agree more!
We used to run regular training events with added networking opportunities and found that some delegates would always enquire prior to booking how many people we were expecting. A suitably large number would then help them to decide that attending was an efficient use of their time.
A similar thing seems to be happening online in social media where a lot of people spread themselves thin in the hope that collecting ‘followers’ and ‘friends’ will lead to more potential clients or customers.
People everywhere are falling into the trap of seeing networking success measured in numbers!
Whilst you could argue that it is important to always meet new people, most people forget that crucially you need the ‘right’ people to build the kind of relationships that provide you with more referrals or more business.
When applying the powerful Pareto principle to this context, we realise that 80 percent of our business can come from 20% of our customers. Therefore it is not the quantity of contacts or the speedy sale that counts in networking, it’s the quality and depth of the connections!
So before you are tempted to scour new groups, events and social media platforms for new connections, try changing your networking strategy from quantity to quality. By strengthening the connections you already have (online and offline) you may well start to attract new business … faster!
Ute Wieczorek-King is an experienced trainer, mentor and business coach who runs Success Network and specialises in helping busy fempreneurs to be more visible, productive and profitable in business.
She also co-authored the networking handbook “From Contact to Advocate (TM)” – an authentic 7-step approach to developing referral relationships that generate more business.