Today Dr. Misner is answering two questions about time spent networking–from completely different perspectives.
Tina in Canada writes “I was planning on hiring extra people next year, and I was wondering how much time I should spend on networking.”
Dr. Misner’s book Business Networking and Sex–Not What You Think surveyed 12,000 people and found that the average amount of time spent networking by both men and women is about six and a half hours. Your goal is not to be average. The people who are really successful spend more time than that. Dr. Misner thinks an optimum amount of time is 8 hours a week. This is especially true if you are going to hire employees.
To make this work, it’s important to diversify your network. Look into the local chamber of commerce, professional associations, and doing more one-to-ones. Remember that the grass is greener where you water it.
Anita in Germany writes “We have lost members because they became so successful that they don’t have time to network.”
When members leave BNI and say it’s because they’re too busy, that’s often an excuse. There’s some other reason that they’re leaving.
Don’t take “I’m too busy” at face value. Conduct an exit interview. (See more about exit interviews in Episode 230.) Ask the same question in different ways in order to get to the real answers.
More times than you might imagine, the member is not happy with something going on in the chapter but doesn’t want to make a big deal of it. If you address the problem, the member is much more likely to stay.
What a successful businessperson does when s/he is too busy is hire more people. People who are committed to growing their businesses make time for networking.
Brought to you by Networking Now.