Will you "network" this year, or network effectively?

“I’ll bet most of us engage in some form of networking as part of our business development efforts. But do we do this effectively?” asks Rick Warner (Great Lakes Valuation), editor of the ASA E-Letter, in his most recent missive to members. “Networking is easy. Networking effectively is much more challenging,” Warner says. Not only does effective networking lead to real business development results, but its true hallmark is “helping our networked partners to be effective in their businesses.” If this doesn’t characterize your networking, then all your efforts may merely amount to “activity,” Warner says, who reminds BV appraisers:

  • When you do help your networking partners, “it doesn’t need to take the form of a referral for an engagement, although those are certainly desirable. Helping can be as simple as providing an introduction to another professional in your network who might be a good connection for another networking partner.”
  • Be persistent in your networking efforts; don’t attend one or two meetings and then expect to see the “referrals rolling in,” Werner says. “Get to know the individuals who are in the group. Referrals are made between individuals. You’ve got to know the people in the group at an individual level.”