Have you ever done this?
You decide to do something for your business. You’re not really into it. But everyone tells you it’s the best thing to do for your business. Or maybe you’ve done it in the past with some success, so you decide to give it a try again. Yet when you follow through, you absolutely hated it. You hated doing it. You had zero results. And you ask yourself why you wasted your time?
Let me give you an example. We’re what you might call networking experts. We’ve “networked” with probably every group in Denver (at least it feels like it). We know what works and what doesn’t. We were invited to a “summer bash” networking event. I’ve been there in the past – several years ago – and know it’s a huge function. So we decided to go. Here are the results:
- 4 hours of time
- $25 registration fee
- $5 parking fee
- zero new clients
Yes, I’ve written before that networking is not about getting new clients – its about connections. And I still agree with that assessment of networking.
Dig Deeper: What Not To Do At A Networking Event
But this event was different this year. Here’s what happened.
The place was so loud and overcrowded, you literally walked from one point to the next, chatting (yelling) with the next person in line. And everyone there had one thing on their minds – grabbing you as the next client.
“Hi I’m John with ABC Insurance. Call me and I’ll give you a quote.”
Yep, there were a ton of sales reps there, and they all were pretty much under quota. You could tell because their entire goal was to sell, sell, sell.
I know. Times are tough. But do I really want an insurance quote, or to meet with a desperate financial adviser just to make his quota for the month? Nope. Not going to happen.
So we have a rule around here. Assess what you’re doing all the time. And if its not working, don’t do it.
So we’re giving up networking. Now that doesn’t mean we’re giving up groups that work for us, or we won’t continue to look for things that have potential. But after wasting time, money and effort on something that has zero value, you’d be crazy to continue down that path.
Networking is meant to build relationships and open up potential. That’s what we’ll look for before attending anything in the future. We reassessed what we want out of our business in the next six months, and came to the conclusion that kind of networking won’t get us where we want to go. So we simply won’t do it.
If you want your business to stay on track, you have to reassess all the time. What works for you? What doesn’t? And be willing to stop and move directions to get where you truly want to go.
Business is about reassessing all the time. Its about finding out what works, and what doesn’t, and making changes along the way.
To make your own changes, start by answering these questions.
What things do I do that help my business grow?
What things do I do that I love? That I hate?
What things take a lot of time? What return do I get from them?
Now that you have your list, what three things stand out to you?
Since we’ve returned from our Europe trip this summer, our path is well defined. So we watch for things that don’t work and quickly change directions when needed.
In the past three weeks, we’ve come up with three things we’ll be changing about our business for the coming few months.
For all the reasons above, we will only be networking if we’re positive it will lead to building stronger relationships.
2. Taking In Certain Types of Clients
Some of our products/services we love. Others we don’t. And some of our services take way more time every week then we want to continue with in the future. So we’re phasing out those services we don’t want in our future mix.
3. Surfing – Not Writing
I read a lot of different ezines and websites regularly. That’s how I stay up to date on everything I do. But invariably I’ll wind up following a link or two (or three or four) and end up spending way too long on something that really isn’t important to my business. So in the coming months, I’m learning to turn off email and access to the Internet for awhile every day so I can focus and get things done.
Those are my three tasks for the rest of the year.
Spend some time going over your own list and come up with your own three item list. Find things that will impact your business overall, giving you more time and energy to spend on things that will truly impact your business.