3 Ways to Turn Your Networking Into Business

by Rob Brown on February 7, 2013 · 0 comments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo many people attend business networking events, participate in online business networks and have networking meetings. But what do they get back from all of that time and effort? The answer is usually very little. They struggle when it comes to turning networking into business. To explore this, I use the phrase ‘CTC’ in my many networking and referral seminars. It stands for any of the following:


  • Card to Client
  • Contact to Customer
  • Card to Connection
  • Connection to Client

You get the idea. It’s about turning a business card into a sale. It’s about converting your networking leads into paying customers and clients. It’s also the hardest thing for most networking business people to do. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Sexy Networking. For most people, the working the room stuff (networking, chatting, swapping cards, having conversations, shaking hands) is the sexy part of networking. Following up and keeping in touch isn’t. it’s hard work and takes a lot of discipline.
  2. Fortuitous Timing. Most people place too much emphasis on ‘good timing’. They hope and expect that people they meet will need exactly what they are offering at that moment in time. Of course, it rarely happens, so rather than keep in touch, they move onto the next networking prospect.
  3. Poor Organisation. Few people actually are disciplined enough to follow through, make dates and reminders, keep to lists, make the calls and do the keeping in touch slog. You’ve got to be right on top of things with a good CRM and email system.
  4. Poor Skills. Many people struggle in mastering the technology needed to sustain a network. As a result, so many good conversations and potential partnerships leak into nothing. Even basic phone skills, email skills and time management skills are lacking.
  5. Task Overload. Some people have the skill, the will and the systems to follow up and keep in touch. They just can’t find the time. They get bogged down with other things and let those potentially valuable contacts go to waste.

There are more reasons for a lack of CTC success. But these cover 95% of the networking ‘not follow up’.  Here’s the lesson:


So here are 3 of my best tips for more success in networking CTC.

  1. Spread your networking out. Then you’ll have time to follow up between events or online sessions. I don’t are how good you are, back to back networking taxes even the most dedicated networking professionals.
  2. Work on your follow up skills, particularly with the technology. Get good on the phone, and get the right follow up CRM systems in place.
  3. Leave a half day or more after any networking event or conference so you have the time to follow up the leads and contacts you’ve made.

There endeth the lesson – happy networking!

Rob Brown
Rob Brown is an expert on making more money from business networking, online and face to face. He loves working with people who want to network for more sales, referrals or career opportunities, Rob’s books, coaching and dynamic talks have helped clients such as GE, HSBC and a range of speakers, leaders and business owners. A regular media contributor, Rob is founder of the Global Networking Council (the world’s top 200 networking thought leaders, authors and gurus) and author of the bestselling book How to Build Your Reputation. For a free copy of Rob’s Networking Follow Up Checklist – 45 tips to Turn Your Business Cards into Business, go to www.therobbrown.com/nwfu-check-signup

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