17 Dec 2018

Networking and ROI

Wendi Hill
Networking

Time is precious. It’s the one currency we all spend at the same rate. The key to game-changing time management is learning to invest time, rather than simply spend it, and by so doing, realize a return on our investment.

Of all the things that demand our attention as business people; of all the ways we can choose to spend our time; networking is often the most challenging when it comes to assigning an accurate return on investment. Nonetheless, it’s undeniable that networking can yield significant, tangible results.

How, then, do we measure ROI for our networking efforts?

Defining Success

ROI for networking activities is not always measured in terms of sales. Instead, networking success is defined in terms of what might be cultivated over time, namely: uncovering actionable market intelligence; finding a new client or business partner; or simply being a brand ambassador for your company.

As with all business activities, it’s imperative that you set objectives and goals for your networking. This will help you not only measure your success (and, subsequently, your ROI), but it will also help you better choose the networks and types of engagement that align with your overall strategy.

Types of Return: Social Benefits

The first type of return on investment is simply the social benefit of making friends in the business. So often we learn from the ideas, approach and strategies of others. We also tend to rise to the caliber of those with whom we surround ourselves.

Having a fresh set of eyes on your business or even just a friend in the business world can make all the difference.

Though it is difficult to measure this particular ROI, we ought not to discount it.

Types of Return: Uncovering Opportunities

People like to do business with people they know and like. It’s that simple. Letting people get to know you as a business person is essential to uncovering opportunities you would not otherwise have discovered.

Measuring the return on investment for such things as joint business calls, new leads, mutually beneficial partnerships and booked sales is easy; and it all begins with connecting the dots. That’s what networking is, after all. The more dots you connect, the more contacts you make, the wider your fishing net and the greater the haul.

Keep track of the people you meet, the people they introduce you to and the opportunities you uncover along the way. This will allow you to see the different paths to success networking uncovered for you. Very soon, you’ll be able to measure and track the results of each engagement and the return on your investment of time.

When a contact brings you something of value, don’t forget to reciprocate. Networking is a two-way street and giving often leads to more receiving. Remember the value of thanking others and give credit where credit is due. Not only are these social graces good manners, they’re effective networking tactics, too.

Time is precious. It’s the one currency we all spend at the same rate. The key to game-changing time management is learning to invest time, rather than simply spend it, and by so doing, realize a return on our investment.

Of all the things that demand our attention as business people; of all the ways we can choose to spend our time; networking is often the most challenging when it comes to assigning an accurate return on investment. Nonetheless, it’s undeniable that networking can yield significant, tangible results.

Wendi Hill

Types of Return: Promotion

The best marketing is word of mouth, and you are the most effective brand ambassador to bring your story to potential partners, clients and customers. Networking allows you to promote your business, put a face and a personality to you company’s name and influence others directly, rather than simply via traditional marketing channels.

Promotion is not simply talking about your products, services and business. Promotion includes listening to others. Again, this is not simply good manners, listening allows you to better tailor your message to your audience. Understanding their needs and interests allows you to position yourself squarely in the middle of what they’re looking for. Remember: don’t sell what you’re selling, sell what they’re buying.

Measuring a return on promotion is similar to measuring a return on all forms of marketing. Consider the time you spent, the resources you used and keep track of what contact led to another contact and what those contacts brought to the table. Promotion, whether by means of traditional marketing, social media marketing or networking, can be measured in much the same way.

Strategic Connections

Networking is about making strategic connections. Strategy is absolutely essential to the success of any business venture. Yet, the value of any given strategy is not easy to quantify.

The same holds true with networking. The efficacy and value of the time spent networking is not easy to quantify, but it is a strategy that yields a variety of results, over time.

Learning to network effectively, therefore, is absolutely essential to impacting its tangible results. Market Momentum can help. We have experience building valuable networks and measuring the impact of networking efforts on the bottom line.

Let us show you how it’s done! Contact us today!

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