By Sally Glick - I was a panelist at a networking program this morning and as I listened to my colleagues addressing the importance of networking, I wondered, again, how many of us actually make time to do the right thing for ourselves and our firms. Many of the experts have been generous enough to share their good ideas as they alert us to the importance of building a brand, demonstrating expertise, adding value and working at being a great resource for others, but MAKING TIME to accomplish these lofty ambitions seems to be the snag. At the ocnclusion of the event, one of the attendees came up and said, "As a sole practitioner i cannot be every where at once. I do I juggle serving my clients with marketing?"
I first reminder her that serving clients IS marketing - adding value to existing clients which results in high retention is the best marekting you can do. As for making new relationships that will pay off in the future, we discussed the old stand by - lunch! Sometimes we forget that breakfast and lunch are available to all. By going out at lunch time, you have the chance to both get out of the office and do so at a time when the office fis likely to be airly quiet. It is a challenge to do it all - so you need to focus on prioritizing your activities and only attempt to be at those programs that are likely to have the greatest return for your efforts!
The key is to never lose sight of the fact that we are in a people business and networking is our greatest tool! You cannot really succeed without meaningful elationships.