The power of networking. How wired in are you?
You have probably often heard people saying, ‘it's not what you know, but who you know’? But have you consciously taken heed and acted upon the statement? Do you purposely seek to widen your network and engage with them at regular and determined intervals? Mastering how to network is more than just increasing your golfing handicap or connecting with people on Linked In. If done correctly, it can unlock opportunities, enhance business performance and or an individual’s career path.
Simply, by knowing more people, gives you greater access, aids in sharing of information, and makes it easier to influence others for the simple reason that influencing people you know is easier than influencing those you don’t. However, effective networking is more about quality than quantity. You should be strategic in who you want to connect with. Not everyone you meet will have any influence or impact in your quest to achieve your goals.
It is also worthwhile to be diverse in your choice of network. If you work in the food sector, look to connect with other sectors as you never know when it might come in useful. Try something different and out of your comfort zone, such as attending a networking event that is outside your area of expertise. Also seek those that are more junior to you. Most choose to network with senior bigger players, but a savvy junior colleague may one day be your boss or extremely influential in business decision.
Networks also need to be maintained. Keeping in contact will only strengthen the relationship.
The frequency and depth of your interactions depends on the strength of the relationship. For casual connections, the occasional retweet or Facebook comment might suffice. For deeper ones, a more meaningful email or meeting may be more suitable.
Here at Pure Blue Ocean, we have created our own ‘wiring tool’ that aids our clients to consciously think about the individuals they need to be wired into. For example, if their aim is to secure a new contract within their client base, they need to identify who are the key stakeholders, decision makers, influencers and enablers. Once the key players are identified, our wiring tool acts as a useful framework to realise how well (or not) they know the key players, how influential/important they are to the goal and how to connect with them better and how often they should interact with them; thus enabling our clients to hone in on the people that are going to make a difference.
If you would like to know more about our wiring tool and how it could help you unlock business opportunities, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org