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#531: Think About Networking in Terms of "Net Positive"

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, March 28, 2011
Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011
I occasionally get tired of having to go to networking events for my consulting firm. It is part of our overall marketing effort for senior consultants but is it effective for every consultant to participate?

Depending on your type of consulting practice, networking by every consultant in your firm may be more or less effective, but this depends on what you expect from it. If you believe that networking is a "have to" type of activity instead of an "opportunity to" activity, you are likely to be disappointed by your time spent doing so. I have two thoughts.

First, the strongest elements in a network are deep relationships. Take the time to find the right people to make part of your network, considering that half of the people you meet may not be right for your, or their, networking needs. Let "slow and steady" be your guide. The more times you connect with a person, the deeper your relationship.

Second, every individual benefits from a personal network, regardless of how "connected" your firm is. If your senior partners build powerful networks, that's great, but you still need to develop your own. Your personality, consulting approach and emerging needs extend beyond those of your firm.

Tip: Approach networking as an opportunity to help others, not rack up a collection of business cards. Your value as a networking partner is invisible until you make the offer to provide it to others.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consulting colleagues  goodwill  marketing  networks  trust  your consulting practice 

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Michael E. Cohen CMC MBA says...
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Your point about doing something for others is right on target as a key element of one's networking approach.
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