Networking is time consuming and takes consistency and fortitude. Burnout can easily occur, but by following these steps you are better able to keep burnout at bay.
1. Recognize that not every group or event is right for you. Pick and choose carefully. It’s not quantity; it’s the quality of the activities you participate in. Make certain you are networking in places where you’ll find your prospects or excellent referral sources. If they’re not there, you are wasting your time.
2. Move on if it’s not working for you. Once you join a group, it’s in your best interest to get as involved as possible. Attend meetings, initiate one on ones with individual members and work it to the best of your abilities. But if there are no leads, contacts, connections or anything that can be construed as a benefit to your business existence, cut bait and leave when your membership period has ended.
3. Be attentive and proactive with all of your introductions, but if someone doesn’t reply after several attempts by e-mail and phone, move on. The exception to this “rule” is if or when you know there is a tremendous amount of potential to be realized, and you intend to use dogged persistence to make contact.
4. Start a group. That’s the best way to ensure you are surrounded by highly referable and good networkers.
5. Not enough reciprocity for you? Sometimes you have to reach out and ask for those introductions that were promised to you. You might hate to do that, but in the networking world, there are some people who don’t remember introductions should be reciprocal. Be proactive.
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Adrian Miller has more than 20 years of experience as a sales training expert. She is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training, which offers real-world solutions to real-world situations for clients that range from promising startups to Fortune 500 global enterprises. To find out more, go to http://www.adrianmiller.com or visit her blog at http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.