Andy Wilson, Founder & CEO of Graphight (www.graphite.com), gives three tips to use networking to accelerate your company's growth. Networking and building relationships are what matter at the end of the day.
- Have a plan when building your network
- Prioritize your networking efforts
- Build lasting relationships with the contacts you make
So having been in the business world and company building world for the last twenty years, I have learned a lot of skills. And one that surprises me the most is how important building relationships are in professional networks. So I wanted to share a few pointers with you in what has worked for me and maybe get you to think more about building a professional network.
One thing I like to point out is it when people think about network, they think about meeting people and of course that is a necessary part about building a business network. But that is just the beginning.
So you need to think about who you are meeting. And that is what I call about networking with intent. So think about what you are trying to accomplish in your business and be selective about finding those people, going to those events that relate to your goals.
So you are not just everywhere trying to meet people but very specific about where you are going. And then that ties into not just where you go but who you would talk to but how you allocate your time. So I could meet somebody who is potentially a partner but I do not have the technology to execute for that partner today.
I probably wanted to just make an investment and make an investment, make the introduction and kind of put him in my follow up file. But I can meet somebody else who maybe could be my VP of engineering. And I know relatively soon that I am going to be looking for that role.
So I may start prioritizing my efforts to that person that is probably a little bit more relevant to that shorter term versus the guy that is probably out of the galley who is further out to some strategic relationship.
So think about how you balance your time against those various activities and then finally you know networking when people think about it, they are like, I met this person.
Yes, contacts are important. But more importantly than just having a big fat roll of decks is taking those contacts that you think are going to change the trajectory of your business in making a very specific investment in developing those contacts to be a relationship and at the end of the day, it is relationships that matter. And to me in a business contacts, a relationship is somebody who is willing to act on your behalf to make you successful. So we wanted to aggregate those contacts. It would be selective about building those contacts so that the relationships or at the end of the day, your business could be more successful and we and we could have you know higher quality outcomes in our professional lives.