It seems in boom-boom times many professionals forget that they are not alone in their outstanding success. They bask in the glow of the big deals and high income and start believing that they are the central cause for their own glory.
Welcome to the recession.
Now people who ignored others and felt invincible are feeling the pinch of hard times. Alas, they are frantically going back to the basics of business, and one of those basics is realizing that nobody succeeds in a vacuum.
Seems networking is a hot topic.
My total number of speaking engagements in Q1 of 2009 is almost double that of the same period in 2008 for my "Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Keep and Grow Your Business Relationships" seminar. The topics of results oriented communications, business relationships and networking are no longer viewed as "fluffy", but are instead being devoured by everyone. Book sales are also up this year!
My new seminar: "Social Media, Networking and Ethics" is also generating a lot of interest from law firms and other professional services organizations.
Here are 5 reasons that your network is important in a tough economy:
1. All opportunities come from people. Those who were "too busy" to go to lunch or invest time in cultivating meaningful relationships are hungry to network. In a tough economy any and all referral sources become important to survival. If you want more sales, the people you know can be the conduit to discovering new clients.
2. Your network is your safety net. If you get caught in a lay-off it is the people in your network who can help you find your next employer or lead you to consulting gigs. Additionally those with whom you have already developed mutually beneficial relationships are the ones who will be available for moral support if and when you need it. If you have no network, these tough times can seem very lonely.
3. When marketing budgets are cut, word-of-mouth is your only hope. If you cannot afford marketing, PR and advertising, you need to get out and spread the word yourself. But you can only go so far, thus having strong contacts who understand the value you bring can multiply your visibility by telling others about you and your products / services.
4. We learn from others. Being around other intelligent and creative people can motivate and inspire you to succeed. If you have a network of contacts with whom you share information, you cultivate an environment of learning. When you learn you grow. When you are stagnate you die.
5. If you are not networking, remember - your competitors ARE networking! Out of sight is out of mind. If the success of your business in this economy is important to you then you will find a way to make it to the breakfasts, luncheons and "after hours" events. Yes, it is time consuming, but with more people out seeking to make connections, you can rest assured that your competition is trying to meet your customers. If you stay home you are giving them a free pass to begin to build relationships that can and will lead them to future business.
Have A Great Day.
If your organization is interested in having me speak at an event or consult with your team on your business development strategies, please contact me at thom (at) thomsinger.com.