While most people don’t want to hear it, the key to success in networking is consistency.  Nothing will replace consistent action in a purposeful manner.  You must plan your networking success and work your plan consistently, making adjustments as you go to ensure you are getting the most for your efforts.

Most of us have heard of someone who came to his or her first networking event and met a great prospect that became a client.  Many have even heard of someone who has done business at a networking event.  Perhaps you have had the good fortune of meeting someone who was in need of your product or service and you closed the business at the event.  It does happen.

But patience and perseverance are required in networking as in most every other endeavor in life.  Consistency is the key to success.  Joining a health club doesn’t make you healthy.  Once you join you have a greater likelihood of going, and once you go you have a greater likelihood of using the equipment.  Using the equipment doesn’t ensure health either.  It is the purposeful use of the equipment in the proper fashion and proportion consistently that ensures improved health.

Networking is very similar.  Joining a group increases the likelihood that you will attend a meeting or event.  Attending increases the likelihood that you will actually engage in a conversation with another attendee.  Engaging in conversation increases the chances that you will meet someone who could use your product or service.  But the purposeful planning of which meetings and events to attend and whom you wish to meet, coupled with the successful execution of that plan, will ensure that you are successful in networking and in your business endeavor.

The old saying, “who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying” applies in networking.  While your appearance plays an important role,  how often you appear at events is critical.  People will begin to know, like, and trust you when they see you more often.  This increases the odds that they will remember you when they meet someone who needs what you sell.

Therefore, you should plan out your networking for the next six weeks and stick to it.  Measure your success at each event and determine if the right connections are attending the same events you are.  Be honest with yourself.  How well did you connect?  How much did you give each event?  What impacted your results?

Be sure to visit each event or group more than once before you decide to fully engage or eliminate it from your plan.  Then be decisive.  Choosing a few events or groups to fully engage in each month will bring far better results than taking a shotgun approach.  You’ll begin to see the same people and they will see you as reliable.  Then they will open up their contact list to you.  This is when networking becomes powerful.  Remember, meeting people and doing business with them individually is great, but the real power comes when you gain access to their contacts and referrals.

Networking success requires a plan and that plan requires consistently attending events and meetings and measuring your success.  When you fully engage and consistently attend you will find better relationships, better use of your time, more referrals, and greater success.  Be consistent.

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