Ah, networking…it’s that time of year again.
Love it or hate it, developing relationships with other people in your industry plays an important part in scaling your business.
The holiday season is a BIG networking time for you and your business. It’s a time when you attend holiday parties and socialize outside of the office with your friends, peers, and colleagues. So take this opportunity to strategize and systemize your networking.
Why is networking important for your business, big or small?
Networking allows you to:
- Connect with others in your industry and form relationships with potential new partners.
- Find new customers and clients.
- Open yourself to bigger and better opportunities.
But the art of networking can be a tough chestnut to crack.
Those of us who are more introverted can find networking challenging and exhausting and honestly downright anxiety-inducing (me!) And even the most Type A person in the room can find that winging it at networking events doesn’t produce the same results every time. The bottom line is, playing it by ear is not an effective way to network!
So, how do you win at networking?
By using systems!
If you want to learn why you must systemize your business read my previous blog here. What do I mean by systems? Systems are the procedures you have in place to keep your business running. Think of it as standard operating procedures you give yourself and your employees as checklists so you/they can implement it, even without training.
Systems should be set up for the activities that you use to run your business. This includes networking! If any activity is required to get things done in your business, it should have a system.
By turning your networking efforts into a repeatable process, you can connect with more people authentically. A system will help you focus on building relationships.
When you already have a system for determining which networking events to visit, how to prepare beforehand, and when to follow up, all you have to think about is the person in front of you. You want a systemized strategy for networking so you can have a structure that allows you to be fully present in those relationships.
Consistency is the key to systems.
When you’re prepared and you have a process in place, you can provide the same, practiced experience every time. And the presentation is important in making a good impression, especially when it comes to business.
Make sure your team follows the systems in place. This is important for consistency. Getting your team to follow systems can come with some pain points, read my previous blog here to learn best practices for getting your team to consistently follow systems.
Not everybody feels comfortable networking, so the more you practice this systemized approach to networking, the more comfortable you’ll feel with networking overall. Just like practicing your big pitch or big speech until you are comfortable with it, it’s the same idea.
So get out there! Do your thing! And don’t drink too much Champagne. Happy Networking and Happy Holidays from the team at Life By Design Virtual Solutions.