Does this story sound familiar to you by any chance?
A few days ago my friend, who is a new entrepreneur, told me that she managed to get a meeting with an investor that may want to invest in her start-up.
She had a problem, though- she wasn’t ready with her “one-pager” and presentation and she had a short time to get it all together.
She was desperately looking for a professional to hire and help her with those, and couldn’t find anybody suitable.
Eventually she managed to do an OK job herself, but it wasn’t enough to impress the investor…
As she told me the story she stopped and realized…. She could have asked ME for connections to professionals because I work with start-up founders and I know many service providers in that industry!
She realized I could have helped her when it was already too late!
Map and categorize your network
Your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family are your biggest asset.
They may have the power to help you connect to the right people that can help you achieve your business and personal goals.
Along with your networking activity and constant growth of your network, it’s very important to get super familiar with your existing net.
This way, you would know to assess who can help you within “your community” and who you can help, too.
Just how do you do it? Create a network database.
Create a list
You can use an Excel sheet to add a list of people, CRM (customer relationship management) programs, your email contacts list, or any other convenient tool.
Collect your contacts
When you go about mapping the people in your network, make sure to go through your phone, Email and Facebook contacts, along with your LinkedIn contacts and any other resource of contacts that you own.
Categorise your list
To make it easier to pinpoint the right people when you need them, I would suggest to add categories by location / occupation / date or any other convenient identifier.
Add special or specific details
While you do so, try to remember and document the person’s details and special skills, experience, resources and the like.
Highlight important contacts
Also, point out the specific people you want to strengthen your relationship with, and make sure to give them a call or set up a meeting with them soon.
This detailed list of contacts will come so handy for you when you need help or want to connect between someone’s need to someone who can assist.
It’s all about people
We all meet so many people with great resources, connections, and knowledge that we don’t have. Similarly, we have unique abilities and skills that others don’t have and may need.
The people you already know and like can help you reach your goals and connect you to other people, share valuable knowledge, and more- if you know to detect them and ask for help.
Now it’s your time to take action:
- Know who you know (map your connections).
- Refresh your memory and take a look at that list every now and again.
- Strengthen specific potential relationships with those who can help you achieve your goals.
- Be there for your friends – help them like you would want them to help you.
Business Networking Coach & Speaker