You know the PowerMatch mantra by now:
Networking is a marketing activity, not a sales activity.
As such, your networking focus should be on building Know/Like/Trust with your current and potential strategic partners, and because of that, your company needs to be ready to network beyond having a website and some business cards at the ready to pass out at an event.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself about your readiness to build lasting and mutually beneficial business relationships. Even better – sit down with another business owner in your posse and get an honest assessment of where you stand and some accountability for making improvements:
1. Are you and your company visible in real life and on social media?
2. Are you regularly and consistently engaging in networking activities, even when you think you’re “too busy”?
3. Are you regularly volunteering/involved in bettering your community?
4. Are you regularly reaching out to your current connections?
5. Do you know how to talk about your business differently than everyone else who does what you do?
LIKING YOU: (This one will require some honest introspection!)
6. Are you likeable?
7. Do you listen to other people?
8. Do you do what you say you are going to do?
9. Do you respond to emails in a timely fashion?
10. Are you addressing your audience’s pain points?
11. Are your calls to action helpful and provide value?
12. Are you positioned as THE expert in your field?
13. Are you writing Linkedin Publications/blog posts/articles?
14. Are you providing value to your audience BEFORE they hire you?
15. Does your website look professional?
16. Do you use a professional headshot on your business’ social media sites?
17. How’s your PR?
18. Are your LinkedIn and social media accounts professional, relevant and up-to-date?
19. Do your online and offline personas match?
20. Do you know who your strategic partners are? (Defined as people who have the same target market as you and offer complementary services.)
21. Do you know what you bring to the table in terms of HOW you want to help others?
22. Do you do the little things for your networking partners?
23. Are you open to bigger collaborations with networking/strategic partners (like workshops, referrals, joint consultations, cross-promotions, etc.)?
24. Do you know what your ideal strategic/collaborative partner for the bigger stuff looks like?
As Ivan Misner of BNI says, it’s called netWORKING for a reason! Effective business relationship building takes time, effort, and consistency, and is far cry from random passing out of your business card and the typical “follow up” procedures that you always hear about. But that’s okay! The good news is that this helps you set a high standard for your networking partners and activities and helps you get targeted and effective with your networking, which saves you time and money! (Plus, this is the level of networking that we expect from PowerMatch members!)
Need some help with this stuff? Email us at to set up a free consultation!