My consulting clients come to me because they have struggled, often for years, to create a solid network that leads to personal and professional fulfillment. They are fully aware they need to network and know it works for others, but haven't made it work for themselves—yet.
My job is to help them find the reason they're missing the mark and help them tweak their behaviors accordingly. Behaviors that hinder networking success are fairly universal and are usually one or a few of the following culprits. Each one aligns with one of the Four Pillars of Profitable Networking:
- not having realistic expectations and the wrong attitude (First Pillar: Perspective)
- not portraying a genuine, welcoming professional image that invites new relationships and encourages people to like you, trust you, and believe you are competent (Second Pillar: Personal Brand)
- not making it easy for people to know who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer (Third Pillar: Procedures)
- not having enough meaningful interactions with enough of the right people (Fourth Pillar: Strategic Plan)
To change results, we must first adjust our expectations. People who show up once or twice at networking events and get frustrated because they haven't seen tangible results from their networking efforts are setting themselves up for failure. Networking is not a quick fix. Getting to know people and letting them get to know you requires time. That's not to say that amazing things can't happen ...