Ask any business owner, entrepreneur, marketing professional, etc. – they will all inform you that networking is the lifeblood of successful businesses. The connections we establish govern the way we think, process information, pursue goals, and ultimately make decisions. Establishing the right connections can be the difference between a successful business plan and a complete failure. However, establishing connections is one thing – how to network efficiently is another.

Common Networking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Almost everyone would agree that networking is important. However, many people either don’t know or were ill-informed on what connections to look for and how to go about establishing these relationships. From our own experience, these are some of the most common mistakes we see made by people seeking to expand their networking circle:

1) Not Making Enough Connections

The more the merrier!

Networking is so important. While we may be naturally geared to establish a couple, strong relationships with fewer individuals, your goal should be to meet as many people and make as many connections as possible. Having a pool of 3-4 connections deep for each department of concern is a smart approach. Your connections will offer you advice on subject matters that may conflict with one another.

Network Efficiently

Ultimately, this will help you to learn the various truths and flaws of different approaches and to ultimately structure your own way of thinking efficiently and acting with less error.

2) Expecting Too Much Immediately

Building relationships takes time. You must give before you get in the business world. View networking as a long-term investment strategy. Make your connections feel valued. Seek to learn more about them, their strategies, and their stories long before you attempt to use their connection for any sort of personal growth.

3) Not Managing Your Connections

There’s much truth to this topic. Managing your relationships is not easy. Your connections deserve your time, your resources, and your attention. While it is smart to continue establishing new relationships and networking as much as possible, make sure that you don’t lose contact with your new connections. We understand that finding the most efficient and effective ways to do this can be difficult, which leads us to…

How to Network Efficiently

Here are our top recommendations for anyone seeking to network more efficiently:

1) Decide Your Purpose for Networking

You should aim to have multiple goals for networking. Perhaps you network with some people to learn more about a specific industry. You then network with a different group for inspiration. Yet another for accounting advice, marketing advice, etc.

Networking gives us 2 things primarily: first, valuable knowledge from the connections we make, and second, solid industry connections to lean on in trying and difficult times. Additionally, having a purpose for your networking will aid you in selecting the right people to build a relationship with.

2) Find the Right Networking Platform

Although we would respect the effort, door knocking every house in your neighborhood and asking if they want to be your friend probably isn’t the best way to network efficiently. You need to find the right platform to build relationships.

You and I probably thought of the same word when we read “networking platform” – Social Media. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter – they are all meant to bring people together over a common purpose or interest. But what about other options?

Network Efficiently

As of recent, the networking industry has released a new method as a spinoff of the classic CRM:

PRMs, or Personal Relationship Management Systems. The difference between a CRM and a PRM is that a PRM is focused on a smaller, personal circle of connections as opposed to business-to-clientele relations. At UpHabit, we are taking it up a challenge to ensure that these personal relationships are richer and more meaningful. We are tackling these social interaction obstacles head-on. Networking isn’t easy but we want it to be.

3) Track Your Most Valuable Persons (MVPs)

Although we would respect the effort, door knocking every house in your neighborhood and asking if they want to be your friend probably isn’t the best way to network efficiently. You need to find the right platform to build relationships.

Conclusion

Networking is a difficult task. It takes persistence and continuous revision to keep establishing meaningful relationships. Before setting out to network, make sure you understand your purpose for doing so. A solid reason behind why you are seeking connections will help you to build the right ones. Also, make sure you are building your network efficiently. This is done by having access to the right tools. Social media platforms are helpful, but using a tool such as the PRM offered by UpHabit can help you to grow and manage your connections efficiently and effectively.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to operate with people in large-office settings, then make sure to check out our earlier blog post on Relationship ROI.