The most interesting thing I find about networking is how people don’t know they need you until they meet you. “You do custom software, I always thought of making an app for my business”. “You clean the sidewalks outside of stores? Mine are getting grungy and I hate doing it myself”. These are conversations I have heard and watched deals close. Of course, the longer you network, the better known you are and the more trusted you become. It’s an investment and will pay off over time.
Another reason to put efforts into networking is getting advice. Every networking event I have been to I get asked questions about marketing or sales and I freely give out good information. Almost everyone I interact with at the meetings does the same. I see thousands of dollars worth of consulting being handed out because we know each other and we ask. It’s also how we get more business. I ask a financial adviser for information, it turns out to be great information, who do you think I am going to hire?
For maximum effect, you should spend about an hour a day networking for your business. Dr. Misner found that people who said “networking played a role” in their success spent an average of 6.3 hours a week participating in networking activities.Conversely, the people who claimed that “networking did NOT play a role” in their success spent 2 hours or less per week developing their network.