Sep
13

Networking Gold In Only 15 Minutes Per Day

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nowMany BNI members complain about never having time to network outside of their BNI meetings. What they don’t realise is that networking is not a chore – it can be one of the best and least expensive business building tool on offer today.

One thing is for sure, if you start allocating 15 minutes per day on specific networking activity – within 6-8 weeks you will start to see results.

Here are 5 things you can do within that 15 minute time frame that will get you fast results.

  1. Pick up the phone. Yes text messages are useful and emails are convenient, but nothing beats a conversation. Call a couple of lapsed clients for a “how’s things?” phone call. “I was thinking of you yesterday and thought I would give you a call and just see how you are going and what you are up to.” Then listen, don’t interrupt, don’t try to sell anything, just listen. You might even take notes.
  2. Send a thank you note. Who has done something for you in the last week? Who has gone out of their way to help you? Who has given you a referral recently? Why not send them a thank you note? It will probably take you longer to address the envelope than it will to write the note. Developing a habit of sending at least one thank you card a week is a great networking activity to practice.
  3. Recycle something you no longer need. In this age of high consumption, you may find that giving is almost as good as receiving. Whether you are recycling magazines, books, CDs (yes some people still use them), electrical equipment or furniture. If you no longer need something, why not give it away? You have enjoyed its use for long enough, why not pass it on? Of course the local charity shop or community centre will welcome all donations and you may find that some of your friends are happy to pass receive your unwanted possessions. Particularly if they have ageing parents and are often looking for different things to keep them entertained.
  4. Spend your entire 15 minute slot on LinkedIn and spend the time going through your connections and send recommendations to your preferred suppliers. Avoid writing exactly the same testimonial for everyone as they will show up in a cluster and people may notice your lack of originality. However testimonials need not be lengthy, 2-3 lines is sufficient. Don’t be surprised if you receive some recommendations in response. Remember what you give out comes back tenfold.
  5. Give a referral to someone in your BNI network. You probably don’t need a reminder with this, but there are BNI members unfortunately week after week who don’t give referrals. They are great at excuses, but lazy when it comes to giving referrals. The key is to make sure it is a referral – the name of the person expecting your call, a brief summary of what they want and contact details. A tip is a piece of information e.g. one of the hotels on the waterfront is doing a makeover. A lead is a little more information but still not quite enough e.g. the Star hotel on the waterfront is doing a makeover in the next 6 months. A referral e.g. The Star Hotel on the waterfront is doing a makeover in June. They have a tight budget but I told them you are in the makeover business and have a reputation for coming in on budget. John Seville is expecting your call, here is his number. Now that is a referral and John Seville will certainly welcome your call.

If you want referrals, start giving away referrals.

Article written by the “Australian Queen of Networking” Robyn Henderson

Global networking specialist, Robyn Henderson has authored and contributed to more than 30 books on networking, self promotion and self esteem building. She has spoken in 12 countries, presents over 150 times per year and has never advertised. All her work comes from networking, referrals, LinkedIn and her website www.networkingtowin.com.au

Comments

  1. Peter Grimes says:

    Robyn,

    What a brilliant and simple concept you have shared here! I love each and every suggestion and will most definitely introduce the 15mins a day strategy into my current time poor existence.

    Appreciate your brilliance :)

    Regards,
    Peter

  2. Indie says:

    Excellent ,awesome & refreshing Robyn
    Hope you can pop in to BrasilwearBiz Paddington Fiveways

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