How to measure your network
Are you one of those people who speed up a little bit when you see the street sign with your suggested speed or do you slow down? Or do you not even notice the sign that you've driven by for years?
I usually only notice measurement when it matters most, for example, when a ball is close to the line in tennis, or when they have to bring the chains onto the field in football. Or even when the trainer suggests it's not about the scale measurement, but about the actual measurements of your waist and hips.
Being intentional about your network means staying in touch with them more frequently
I watch how in business people attend to the measurement of money and the desired outcomes, think strategic planning, tax season, sale prices.
Creating a measurement for the key relationships that assist you in getting your job done, preparing for a new job or being a resource for other people in your network is crucial. This metric can be easily created and will helpful to your future success.
Taking inventory of your relationships and knowing who will help introduce you and expand your impact is valuable no matter where you are in your work success.
Take out a sheet of paper and draw 15 lines and 3 columns.
On the left side write down all the people you may have relationships with that could benefit from knowing what you do and what you are wanting to accomplish.
Accountant/ doctor/banker/lawyerPeople from your high school, college or graduate schoolReligious contactsSports or hobby friendsNon-profitWork/coworkersTrade associationsNeighborsMentor/mentee/Journalists/MediaOther
Here is the scoring criteria:
One point for having at least one or more people in each category that would know your name and know what you do professionally. Add a point if they have referred business to you or your firm.
In the next column, if you have a really strong relationship with the person and you are confident they know what you do, they respect you and they trust you enough to refer business, give yourself a five. If you aren't sure, give a three, and set up a time to meet with the person and make it stronger.
If you are not sure, or if you think the relationship is challenged, give yourself a one.
It's ok to know someone but not have a great relationship. We can't have all level-five relationships. But the key is knowing where you are with this person and what you can do to make your relationship stronger.
Tally it up
If you're at 10, there's work to be done to expand your network and dive deeper into the cross-section of networking that can make your work easier to accomplish. And I'm not just talking about how many people you have on LinkedIn. It's about how many people you can call up and invite to a fundraiser, a luncheon or ask to do business with you.
Many of the most successful people I know start off with only 10 key relationships then develop into a reputation as successful. It's about who knows what you are doing and who else they tell to increase your impact.
If you're at 25, congrats, you're a rock star. That means you're probably involved in community service and you have a reach beyond what you may have been aware of.
Being intentional about your network means staying in touch with them more frequently than just holiday cards and a sales call follow-up. It means knowing what is going on and how you can help each other reach goals.
Anything over 25 is impressive. Start sharing with others how you've built such strong relationships and what you did to build up a strong network. Share with other people how you decide which events to attend and where to spend your time. You've obviously built relationships; maybe you golf a little, but you know how to create relationships for life.
I work with a client who held a party when he moved into a new space and invited all the people he had done business with along the way. It included non-profit friends, corporate friends and people from his kids' friendships.
This group knew this man well. They liked him in many different ways and respected his impact. It was truly a celebration of the strong relationships he has built over the years. He scores in the 100s and still writes hand-written notes to people to thank them for their support. Being a class act measures up well in the long run.