The 5 Phases of Networking
A fantastic part of each Athena Executive meeting is the Networking Skills Training. These are short sessions aimed at providing quick tips and take aways for members and visitors to maximise their networking activities.
In July, Gina walked us through the different stages of networking we experience when attending events regularly.
Key Tips about Networking
- It can be a powerful and cost effective way to grow your business and build more contacts
- It takes time to show results – it won’t happen overnight
- It takes focus and persistence – knowing your business goals and aligning them with your networking goals is the first step in the networking process
The 5 Phases of Networking
When you decide to embark on your networking journey, there are various phases that you may go through before you really feel that you have mastered networking; that your networking activity is bringing in the business you want.
For some would-be networkers, they never actually achieve their ultimate goal of gaining the vast majority of business by referral. They often feel their efforts aren’t rewarded as much as they would like them to be.
So what are the Different Phases of Networking?
Phase 1 – The Happy Networker
You decide to join a networking organisation such as Athena to help you grow your business. You start the journey full of optimism and hope. Networking is going to bring you tremendous rewards and results…
Phase 2 – The Non-Plussed Networker
You regularly attend the networking meetings but the results aren’t coming through as fast as you would like. However, you decide to give it a bit more time. You may have been networking for four or five months at this stage…
Phase 3 – The Frustrated Networker
By now you have been networking extensively for six to nine months and have been doing everything you should, yet you still feel frustrated that no big results have come in. You feel that the whole networking thing just isn’t working for you and your business. At this stage, many people decide that networking isn’t for them. They decide to leave and move on. Sometimes they leave the world of networking altogether or they try another group or organisation. However, many persevere and move into Phase Four…
Phase 4 – The Penny Drops!
Suddenly the penny drops! You realise that there is more to networking than just going through the motions of attending the meetings. There is work, effort and a clear strategy needed if you are to be successful at this. At Athena, we recognise that everyone who joins us is already an expert in what they do, but they may not necessarily be expert networkers.
Through working with us and by participating in the variety of training opportunities, members soon master the skill of networking and recognise there is more to it than just turning up for networking meetings and events.
Phase 5 – The VERY Happy and Successful Networker
Once you have reviewed the necessary steps you need to take in order to put in place an effective networking strategy, you will see more and more business coming through the connections you have made from your networking activities.
By working through these steps you will soon have a good starting point to be able to implement a networking strategy that works for you by delivering results!
Which phase are you in right now? What steps do you need to take to become a happy and successful networker?
Each month we focus on a different aspect of networking and how it can support our business growth.