Creating Your Value Based Network – A 3-Step Process
Regardless of where you are in your career or life, if you are looking to make your future bigger than your past, you need to invest in the people who have helped you achieve your current success and those who can do so in the future. And, the time to make those investments is now; not when you "need" them.
So, how do you do it? Value Based Networking.
There are three fundamental steps to the Value Based Networking process. Follow these and you will be on your way to developing your own value based network of colleagues, associates, friends and family who will support, encourage and assist you now and in the future. 1. Identify People in Your Network: Now and Future
First, you will need to identify the people or contacts you currently have in your network. Start with business contacts and colleagues and then move on to friends and family. Then identify new contacts you wish to have in the future. This list can be a little more difficult. Think of three or four people that you would love to meet because they could help your personal growth. It may be the CEO of a company, someone of influence in your company or a colleague with a skill you admire. Just someone who could help you take one step forward toward a career or personal goal.
2. Gain Access
The next step is to look for ways to gain access to the people you would like in your network. Most of the time these people are accessible - if they believe that there is value in allowing you access to them.
Turn it around and ask yourself this: Is anyone trying to make contact with me? This is a report card for where you are in the value proposition. If people are not trying to connect with you, but you are trying to connect with them, that's also a report card. The object is to have them call you. Until that occurs, you have to connect with them. (Once you start connecting people in a value based way, be sure they will be calling you.)
3. Create Value for Your Network
You bring value to the relationships you are nurturing and developing in the form of your own knowledge and connections or unique skill or interest. It's a case of mutual value for mutual benefit.
So, from what you know about the people on your list, from either personal experience or through others, what could you do that would benefit them? The question to ask yourself here is: How can I make people better as a result of connecting with me?
These are the basics of Value Based Networking. The questions you ask, the ideas you bring to the table, and your communication skills, combined with your passion, belief, and attitude are the fundamentals of what it takes to connect with anyone. Offer value. Do what you say you're going to do. You will find that when you begin to give value to others, the people you affect will find a way to tell you and a way to reciprocate.