‘You know Charlie, it’s tough to take time off work to attend these breakfast meetings.’
I used to hear this phrase a lot during the early days of the Weeklybiz.
Taking time off work?
Another popular version was:
‘I can’t afford to spend time away from the job for the sake of an early breakfast.’
An early breakfast away from the job?
This was also popular … once upon a time:
‘I have a presentation I need to complete by the morning …’
Casting my mind back, there was a time when this type of response was commonplace whenever I extended a genuine invitation to develop new business. ‘Nowadays the response is more like …
‘Yes, I know networking is proven to help any business … the problem is, finding the time.’
Too busy for more business? Is this the message we wish to deliver?
Time is valuable, I get it. That’s why we schedule the morning meetings – so it’s less onerous, 7.15-8.45 am – engagement before the day starts.
I consider my preferred networking date offers the perfect time to engage, as we listen out for business. Because, networking is not only about you. Networking is about how we inform and educate colleagues, this starts by being there.
Being there for the conversation, opinion, and observation. Being reliable.
By being there for others we’re showing empathy while enhancing our own reputation. By working on our reputation we’re making a real difference to the possibility of new, meaningful referral business. Being recommended by others is a wonderful thing …
… the stronger the relationship, the more suitable the referrals.
Not forgetting, for more sensitive referrals, (those including family,) we’re a little more discerning about where to place our business. The same principles apply to our colleagues. We all ask, ‘who do we trust?
Time spent networking is not taking time away from the business – it is the act of developing your business. through the introduction, by referral.