Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Productive Networking During the Holidays

It seems during the crazy holiday time many organizations, associations, companies and social clubs have a networking event for you to attend. How can you possibly do it all? Well… you can’t. To ensure your networking is proactive, productive and profitable this holiday season you can apply these productive networking tips for the holiday season.

Choose your activity – you will receive many offers to attend functions, choose wisely. Determine what time of day is best for you to attend. Do you prefer breakfast events, luncheons or after work activities. Assess when the function is being held and if it is the best use of your time.

Don’t accept every invitation – just like you need to choose which functions to attend, you also need to decline many invitations. You simply can’t attend every activity at this time of year and still run your business and meet your business goals. Respond quickly to invitations, send a ‘thank you email’ to the organiser and decline some invitations.

Take a raincheck – one of the most polite ways to decline an invitation to any event is to ask the person “may I take a rain check”. This simple question lets the person know you appreciate their invitation but you are unable to attend at this time.

Send a ‘Happy Holiday’ follow up card instead of a thank you card – you have heard me say before I think it is important to re-connect with people after each networking event by sending a thank you card or a ‘nice to meet you’ card. At this time of year replace this with a ‘happy holiday’ card and include your business card for their records.

Book follow up time – when you book a networking function into your schedule, make another appointment with yourself the day after the event for 1 hour of follow up activity. Use this time to write your ‘happy holiday’ cards, send company information that was requested from you or make follow up phone calls.

Arrive early, stay late – to maximise your time at functions you decide to attend, arrive early to meet the committee, speakers and hosts. Stay late to make new connections with women you have just met.

Don’t book multiple functions in one day – don’t make the mistake of rushing from one networking event to the next. Be fully present while you are at an event and enjoy the conversations and the connections you make. Many people try to fit in multiple events this time of year and don’t do justice to any of them. Choose wisely.

Book 1 hour to review your involvement in Networks – it is easy to join multiple networks but not be involved in any of them. Take one hour to assess every network you belong to, determine which networks you want to remain involved in for next year and decide which networks have not been valuable for you this past year. By conducting this activity before the end of the year, you can start 2007 afresh. This will help you make quick decisions about which invitations to accept and decline. Use these questions to help you:
What can I contribute to this network?
What is the investment I need to make?
What is the R.O.N?

Pro-Networkingä R.O.N is a way of calculating ‘Return on Networking’ – I use this proprietary formula to determine if the network is worth my time, attention, energy and money.

Set up your appointments for 2007 – now is a great time to schedule your January through March appointments, don’t overlook this time for planning your next year. Conduct annual reviews with clients; meet prospective leads and book time with your staff to help them set their goals for 2007.

Neen is an International Productivity Expert: by looking at how they spend their time and energy – and where they focus their attention – Neen helps people to rocket-charge their productivity and networking performance. A dynamic speaker, author and corporate educator, Neen demonstrates how boosting your productivity can help you achieve amazing things. With her unique voice, sense of fun and uncommon common-sense, Neen delivers a powerful lesson in productivity. Find out more and subscribe to Neen’s free monthly ezine at

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