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Why Your Networking is Failing: You're doing it wrong

business-articlesWhy Your Networking is Failing: You're doing it wrong

We explore how to build a network with one of the best connected people in the world, YEC's co-founder Ryan Paugh.
If you can say yes to any of the following you'll benefit from his advice:

- You can count the number of professional contacts you'd invite to dinner on one hand.
- You've been to 'networking events' nobody emailed/called you back.
- You believe that building a strong community will help you.
Still not convinced:

- 40% of prospects are converted to new customers through face-to-face meetings
- 70%-80% of jobs are not published, how will you find your next hire?
- 95% say face-to-face meetings are essential for long term relationships

The basics

Alright so where to start to build this golden egg?
The core concept here is that traditional networking where you build a high volume low quality connections is ultimately not going to benefit you in the long term.
It will burn your time and you're unlikely to get much out of it...
Instead you need to start building a smaller number of extremely high value connections. You'll do this by first providing value then over time you'll undoubtably get value back as well as create life long friends and business contacts.

The process

1. Create a unique experience

An important element is that you're going to have to give in order to receive. The plan is simple you need to create a unique experience that you enjoy.
Gifting is one of the most powerful ways to build and improve relationships.
It could be as simple as a steak night or as elaborate as a weekend skiing or kitesurfing somewhere you love.
Ultimately you're going to need to foot the bill for the whole party so choose according to your budget. You can always start small and go big later.

2. Target an audience

Once you've got an idea for your experience you need to choose a target audience. If you're thinking of a ski trip consider looking for people who like skiing and are in your industry.
Keep the group varied and remember you're looking to build connections so don't just pull the top 10 CEOs from your prospect list. Instead consider that their might be other people like VPs or Directors who are more accessible and might have more time to spare.
Finally consider non-prospects, just interesting people who will make the group varied.

3. Execute

If you're planning a dinner consider mixing it up a little such as having everyone switch seats after the starter.
Alternatively you could have one person explain a challenge that they're facing and have the rest of the invitees provide advice.
If you're doing another activity then consider how you're going to make sure that everyone gets to talk to one another.

What next

The sky is the limit. If you think that this could be interesting you should check out Ryan Paugh's book Superconnector. It goes into detail on how to build connections that will last a lifetime.
You can also see our podcast where we interview Ryan and ask him about some of the best ways to build connections.

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